ArticlePDF Available

The making of an expert

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Popular lore tells us that genius is born, not made. Scientific research, on the other hand, reveals that true expertise is mainly the product of years of intense practice and dedicated coaching. Ordinary practice is not enough: To reach elite levels of performance, you need to constantly push yourself beyond your abilities and comfort level. Such discipline is the key to becoming an expert in all domains, including management and leadership. Those are the conclusions reached by Ericsson, a professor of psychology at Florida State University; Prietula, a professor at the Goizueta Business School; and Cokely, a research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, who together studied data on the behavior of experts, gathered by more than 100 scientists. What consistently distinguished elite surgeons, chess players, writers, athletes, pianists, and other experts was the habit of engaging in "deliberate" practice--a sustained focus on tasks that they couldn't do before. Experts continually analyzed what they did wrong, adjusted their techniques, and worked arduously to correct their errors. Even such traits as charisma can be developed using this technique. Working with a drama school, the authors created a set of acting exercises for managers that remarkably enhanced executives' powers of charm and persuasion. Through deliberate practice, leaders can improve their ability to win over their employees, their peers, or their board of directors. The journey to elite performance is not for the impatient or the faint of heart. It takes at least a decade and requires the guidance of an expert teacher to provide tough, often painful feedback. It also demands would-be experts to develop their "inner coach" and eventually drive their own progress.
No caption available
… 
No caption available
… 
Content may be subject to copyright.
1284 Ericsson.indd 1141284 Ericsson.indd 114 6/7/07 9:26:58 AM6/7/07 9:26:58 AM
hbr.org | July–August 2007 | Harvard Business Review 115
New research
shows that
outstanding
performance
is the product
of years of
deliberate practice
and coaching,
not of any innate
talent or skill.
by K. Anders Ericsson, Michael J. Prietula, and Edward T. Cokely
THIRTY YEARS AGO, two Hungarian
educators, László and Klara Polgár,
decided to challenge the popu-
lar assumption that women don’t
succeed in areas requiring spatial
thinking, such as chess. They wanted to make a
point about the power of education. The Polgárs
homeschooled their three daughters, and as part
of their education the girls started playing chess
with their parents at a very young age. Their sys-
tematic training and daily practice paid off. By
2000, all three daughters had been ranked in the
top ten female players in the world. The youngest,
Judit, had become a grand master at age 15, break-
ing the previous record for the youngest person to
earn that title, held by Bobby Fischer, by a month.
Expert
of an
The
Making
Lino
1284 Ericsson.indd 1151284 Ericsson.indd 115 6/7/07 9:27:07 AM6/7/07 9:27:07 AM
116 Harvard Business Review | July–August 2007 | hbr.org
MANAGING FOR THE LONG TERM | The Making of an Exper t
Today Judit is one of the world’s top players and has defeated
almost all the best male players.
It’s not only assumptions about gender differences in ex-
pertise that have started to crumble. Back in 1985, Benjamin
Bloom, a professor of education at the University of Chi-
cago, published a landmark book, Developing Talent in Young
People, which examined the critical factors that contribute
to talent. He took a deep retrospective look at the child-
hoods of 120 elite performers who had won international
competitions or awards in fi elds ranging from music and the
arts to mathematics and neurology. Surprisingly, Bloom’s
work found no early indicators that could have predicted
the virtuosos’ success. Subsequent research indicating that
there is no correlation between IQ and expert performance
in fi elds such as chess, music, sports, and medicine has borne
out his fi ndings. The only innate differences that turn out
to be signifi cant – and they matter primarily in sports – are
height and body size.
So what does correlate with success? One thing emerges
very clearly from Bloom’s work: All the superb performers
he investigated had practiced intensively, had studied with
devoted teachers, and had been supported enthusiastically
by their families throughout their developing years. Later
research building on Bloom’s pioneering study revealed that
the amount and quality of practice were key factors in the
level of expertise people achieved. Consistently and over-
whelmingly, the evidence showed that experts are always
made, not born. These conclusions are based on rigorous
research that looked at exceptional performance using sci-
entifi c methods that are verifi able and reproducible. Most
of these studies were compiled in The Cambridge Handbook
of Expertise and Expert Performance, published last year by
Cambridge University Press and edited by K. Anders Ericsson,
one of the authors of this article. The 900-page-plus hand-
book includes contributions from more than 100 leading
scientists who have studied expertise and top performance
in a wide variety of domains: surgery, acting, chess, writing,
computer programming, ballet, music, aviation, fi refi ghting,
and many others.
The journey to truly superior performance is neither for
the faint of heart nor for the impatient. The development
of genuine expertise requires struggle, sacrifi ce, and hon-
est, often painful self-assessment. There are no shortcuts.
It will take you at least a decade to achieve expertise, and
you will need to invest that time wisely, by engaging in “de-
liberate” practice practice that focuses on tasks beyond
your current level of competence and comfort. You will
need a well- informed coach not only to guide you through
deliberate practice but also to help you learn how to coach
yourself. Above all, if you want to achieve top performance
as a manager and a leader, you’ve got to forget the folklore
about genius that makes many people think they cannot
take a scientifi c approach to developing expertise. We are
here to help you explode those myths.
Let’s begin our story with a little wine.
What Is an Expert?
In 1976, a fascinating event referred to as the “Judgment of
Paris” took place. An English-owned wineshop in Paris orga-
nized a blind tasting in which nine French wine experts rated
French and California wines – ten whites and ten reds. The
results shocked the wine world: California wines received
the highest scores from the panel. Even more surprising,
during the tasting the experts often mistook the American
wines for French wines and vice versa.
Two assumptions were challenged that day. The fi rst was
the hitherto unquestioned superiority of French wines over
American ones. But it was the challenge to the second – the
assumption that the judges genuinely possessed elite knowl-
edge of wine – that was more interesting and revolutionary.
The tasting suggested that the alleged wine experts were no
more accurate in distinguishing wines under blind test con-
ditions than regular wine drinkers – a fact later confi rmed by
our laboratory tests.
Current research has revealed many other fi elds where
there is no scientifi c evidence that supposed expertise leads
to superior performance. One study showed that psycho-
therapists with advanced degrees and decades of experi-
ence aren’t reliably more successful in their treatment of
randomly assigned patients than novice therapists with just
three months of training are. There are even examples of
expertise seeming to decline with experience. The longer
physicians have been out of training, for example, the less
K. Anders Ericsson (ericsson@psy.fsu.edu) is the Conradi Eminent
Scholar of Psychology at Florida State University, in Tallahassee.
Michael J. Prietula (prietula@bus.emory.edu) is a professor at the
Goizueta Business School at Emory University, in Atlanta, and visit-
ing research scholar at the Institute for Human and Machine Cogni-
tion, in Pensacola, Florida. Edward T. Cokely (cokely@mpib-berlin
.m pg .de ) is a pos td octo ral r ese ar ch f ell ow a t t he M ax Pl an ck I nsti tute
for Human Development, in Berlin.
Consistently and overwhelmingly, the evidence showed that
experts are always made, not born.
_g_ /// gg
1284 Ericsson.indd 1161284 Ericsson.indd 116 6/7/07 9:27:16 AM6/7/07 9:27:16 AM
hbr.org | July–August 2007 | Harvard Business Review 117
able they are to identify unusual diseases of the lungs or
heart. Because they encounter these illnesses so rarely, doc-
tors quickly forget their characteristic features and have dif-
culty diagnosing them. Performance picks up only after the
doctors undergo a refresher course.
How, then, can you tell when you’re dealing with a genuine
expert? Real expertise must pass three tests. First, it must lead
to performance that is consistently superior to that of the ex-
pert’s peers. Second, real expertise produces concrete results.
Brain surgeons, for example, not only must be skillful with
their scalpels but also must have successful outcomes with
their patients. A chess player must be able to win matches
in tournaments. Finally, true expertise can be replicated and
measured in the lab. As the British scientist Lord Kelvin stated,
“If you can not measure it, you can not improve it.
Skill in some fi elds, such as sports, is easy to measure. Com-
petitions are standardized so that everyone competes in a
similar environment. All competitors have the same start
and fi nish lines, so that everyone can agree on who came in
rst. That standardization permits comparisons among in-
dividuals over time, and it’s certainly possible in business as
well. In the early days of Wal-Mart, for instance, Sam Walton
arranged competitions among store managers to identify
those whose stores had the highest profi tability. Each store
Individual accounts of
expertise are often unreli-
able. Anecdotes, selective
recall, and one-off events
all can present insuffi cient,
often misleading, examples
of expertise. There is a
huge body of literature
on false memories, self-
serving biases, and recollec-
tions altered as a result
of current beliefs or the
passage of time. Reporting
is not the same thing as
research.
Many people are wrongly
believed to possess exper-
tise. Bear in mind that true
expertise is de monstrated
by measurable, consistently
superior performance.
Some supposed experts
are superior only when it
comes to explaining why
they made errors. After the
1976 Judgment of Paris, for
example, when California
wines bested French wines
in a blind tasting, the French
wine “experts” argued that
the results were an aberra-
tion and that the California
reds in particular would never
age as well as the famous
French reds. (In 2006, the
tasting of the reds was reen-
acted, and California came
out on top again.) Had it not
been for the objective results
from the blind tastings, the
French wine experts may
never have been convinced
of the quality of the Ameri-
can wines.
Intuition can lead you
down the garden path.
The idea that you can
improve your performance
by relaxing and “just trusting
your gut” is popular. While it
may be true that intuition is
valuable in routine or familiar
situations, informed intuition
is the result of deliberate
practice. You cannot consis-
tently improve your ability to
make decisions (or your in-
tuition) without considerable
practice, refl ection, and
analysis.
You don’t need a different
putter. Many managers
hope that they will suddenly
improve performance by
adopting new and bet-
ter methods – just as golf
players may think that they
can lower their scores with
a new and better club. But
changing to a different putter
may increase the variability
of a golfer’s shot and thus
hinder his or her ability to
play well. In reality, the key
to improving expertise is
consistency and carefully
controlled efforts.
Expertise is not captured
by knowledge manage-
ment systems. Knowledge
management systems
rarely, if ever, deal with what
psychologists call knowl-
edge. They are repositories
of images, documents, and
routines: external data
that people can view and
interpret as they try to
solve a problem or make
a decision. There are no
shortcuts to gaining true
expertise.
Things to Look Out for
When Judging Expertise
in the Nordstrom clothing chain posts rankings of its sales-
people, based on their sales per hour, for each pay period.
Nonetheless, it often can be diffi cult to measure expert
performance – for example, in projects that take months or
even years to complete and to which dozens of individuals
may contribute. Expert leadership is similarly diffi cult to
assess. Most leadership challenges are highly complex and
specifi c to a given company, which makes it hard to compare
performance across companies and situations. That doesn’t
mean, though, that scientists should throw up their hands
and stop trying to measure performance. One methodology
we use to deal with these challenges is to take a representa-
tive situation and reproduce it in the laboratory. For exam-
ple, we present emergency room nurses with scenarios that
simulate life-threatening situations. Afterward, we compare
the nurses’ responses in the lab with actual outcomes in the
real world. We have found that performance in simulations
in medicine, chess, and sports closely correlates with objec-
tive measurements of expert performance, such as a chess
player’s track record in winning matches.
Testing methodologies can be devised for creative profes-
sions such as art and writing, too. Researchers have studied
differences among individual visual artists, for instance, by
having them produce drawings of the same set of objects.
With the artists’ identities concealed, these drawings were
evaluated by art judges, whose ratings clearly agreed on the
artists’ profi ciency, especially in regard to technical aspects
1284 Ericsson.indd 1171284 Ericsson.indd 117 6/7/07 9:27:22 AM6/7/07 9:27:22 AM
118 Harvard Business Review | July–August 2007 | hbr.org
MANAGING FOR THE LONG TERM | The Making of an Exper t
of drawing. Other researchers have designed objective tasks
to measure the superior perceptual skills of artists without
the help of judges.
Practice Deliberately
To people who have never reached a national or interna-
tional level of competition, it may appear that excellence is
simply the result of practicing daily for years or even decades.
However, living in a cave does not make you a geologist. Not
all practice makes perfect. You need a particular kind of
practice – deliberate practice to develop expertise. When
most people practice, they focus on the things they already
know how to do. Deliberate practice is different. It entails
considerable, specifi c, and sustained efforts to do something
you can’t do well – or even at all. Research across domains
shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you
turn into the expert you want to become.
To illustrate this point, let’s imagine you are learning
to play golf for the fi rst time. In the early phases, you try to
understand the basic strokes and focus on avoiding gross
mistakes (like driving the ball into another player). You prac-
tice on the putting green, hit balls at a driving range, and play
rounds with others who are most likely novices like you. In
a surprisingly short time (perhaps 50 hours), you will de-
velop better control and your game will improve. From then
on, you will work on your skills by driving and putting more
balls and engaging in more games, until your strokes become
automatic: You’ll think less about each shot and play more
from intuition. Your golf game now is a social outing, in
which you occasionally concentrate on your shot. From this
point on, additional time on the course will not substantially
improve your performance, which may remain at the same
level for decades.
Why does this happen? You don’t improve because when
you are playing a game, you get only a single chance to
make a shot from any given location. You don’t get to fi gure
out how you can correct mistakes. If you were allowed to
take fi ve to ten shots from the exact same location on the
course, you would get more feedback on your technique and
start to adjust your playing style to improve your control. In
fact, professionals often take multiple shots from the same
location when they train and when they check out a course
before a tournament.
This kind of deliberate practice can be adapted to develop-
ing business and leadership expertise. The classic example
is the case method taught by many business schools, which
presents students with real-life situations that require ac-
tion. Because the eventual outcomes of those situations are
known, the students can immediately judge the merits of
their proposed solutions. In this way, they can practice mak-
ing decisions ten to 20 times a week. War games serve a
similar training function at military academies. Offi cers can
analyze the trainees’ responses in simulated combat and pro-
vide an instant evaluation. Such mock military operations
sharpen leadership skills with deliberate practice that lets
trainees explore uncharted areas.
Let’s take a closer look at how deliberate practice might
work for leadership. You often hear that a key element of
leadership and management is charisma, which is true. Be-
ing a leader frequently requires standing in front of your em-
ployees, your peers, or your board of directors and attempt-
ing to convince them of one thing or another, especially in
times of crisis. A surprising number of executives believe
that charisma is innate and cannot be learned. Yet if they
were acting in a play with the help of a director and a coach,
most of them would be able to come across as considerably
more charismatic, especially over time. In fact, working with
a leading drama school, we have developed a set of acting
exercises for managers and leaders that are designed to in-
crease their powers of charm and persuasion. Executives
who do these exercises have shown remarkable improve-
ment. So charisma can be learned through deliberate prac-
tice. Bear in mind that even Winston Churchill, one of the
most charismatic fi gures of the twentieth century, practiced
his oratory style in front of a mirror.
Genuine experts not only practice deliberately but also
think deliberately. The golfer Ben Hogan once explained,
“While I am practicing I am also trying to develop my pow-
ers of concentration. I never just walk up and hit the ball.
Hogan would decide in advance where he wanted the ball
to go and how to get it there. We actually track this kind
of thought process in our research. We present expert per-
formers with a scenario and ask them to think aloud as they
work their way through it. Chess players, for example, will
describe how they spend fi ve to ten minutes exploring all the
possibilities for their next move, thinking through the con-
It takes time to become an expert. Even the most gifted performers
need a minimum of ten years of intense training before they win
international competitions.
1284 Ericsson.indd 1181284 Ericsson.indd 118 6/7/07 9:27:31 AM6/7/07 9:27:31 AM
hbr.org | July–August 2007 | Harvard Business Review 119
sequences of each and planning out the sequence of moves
that might follow it. We’ve observed that when a course of
action doesn’t work out as expected, the expert players will
go back to their prior analysis to assess where they went
wrong and how to avoid future errors. They continually work
to eliminate their weaknesses.
Deliberate practice involves two kinds of learning: improv-
ing the skills you already have and extending the reach and
range of your skills. The enormous concentration required
to undertake these twin tasks limits the amount of time you
can spend doing them. The famous violinist Nathan Milstein
wrote: “Practice as much as you feel you can accomplish with
concentration. Once when I became concerned because oth-
ers around me practiced all day long, I asked [my mentor]
Professor Auer how many hours I should practice, and he
said, ‘It really doesn’t matter how long. If you practice with
your fi ngers, no amount is enough. If you practice with your
head, two hours is plenty.’”
It is interesting to note that across a wide range of ex-
perts, including athletes, novelists, and musicians, very
few appear to be able to engage in more than four or
ve hours of high concentration and deliberate practice
at a time. In fact, most expert teachers and scientists set
aside only a couple of hours a day, typically in the morn-
ing, for their most demanding mental activities, such as
writing about new ideas. While this may
seem like a relatively small investment,
it is two hours a day more than most ex-
ecutives and managers devote to build-
ing their skills, since the majority of their
time is consumed by meetings and day-
to-day concerns. This difference adds up
to some 700 hours more a year, or about
7,000 hours more a decade. Think about
what you could accomplish if you devoted
two hours a day to deliberate practice.
It’s very easy to neglect deliberate
practice. Experts who reach a high level
of performance often fi nd themselves re-
sponding automatically to specifi c situa-
tions and may come to rely exclusively on
their intuition. This leads to diffi culties
when they deal with atypical or rare cases,
because they’ve lost the ability to analyze
a situation and work through the right
response. Experts may not recognize this
creeping intuition bias, of course, because
there is no penalty until they encounter
a situation in which a habitual response
fails and maybe even causes damage.
Older professionals with a great deal of
experience are particularly prone to fall-
ing into this trap, but it’s certainly not
inevitable. Research has shown that musicians over 60 years
old who continue deliberate practice for about ten hours a
week can match the speed and technical skills of 20-year-old
expert musicians when tested on their ability to play a piece
of unfamiliar music.
Moving outside your traditional comfort zone of achieve-
ment requires substantial motivation and sacrifi ce, but it’s
a necessary discipline. As the golf champion Sam Snead once
put it, “It is only human nature to want to practice what you
can already do well, since it’s a hell of a lot less work and
a hell of a lot more fun.” Only when you can see that de-
liberate practice is the most effective means to the desired
end – becoming the best in your fi eld – will you commit to
excellence. Snead, who died in 2002, held the record for win-
ning the most PGA Tour events and was famous for having
one of the most beautiful swings in the sport. Deliberate
practice was a key to his success. “Practice puts brains in your
muscles,” he said.
Take the Time You Need
By now it will be clear that it takes time to become an expert.
Our research shows that even the most gifted performers
need a minimum of ten years (or 10,000 hours) of intense
training before they win international competitions. In some
elds the apprenticeship is longer: It now takes most elite
1284 Ericsson.indd 1191284 Ericsson.indd 119 6/7/07 9:27:38 AM6/7/07 9:27:38 AM
120 Har vard Business Review | July–August 2007 | hbr.org
MANAGING FOR THE LONG TERM | The Making of an Exper t
musicians 15 to 25 years of steady practice, on average, before
they succeed at the international level.
Though there are historical examples of people who at-
tained an international level of expertise at an early age, it’s
also true that, in the nineteenth and early twentieth centu-
ries, people could reach world-class levels more quickly. In
most fi elds, the bar of performance has risen steadily since
that time. For instance, amateur marathon runners and high
school swimmers today frequently better the times of Olym-
pic gold medalists from the early twentieth century. Increas-
ingly stiff competition now makes it almost impossible to
beat the ten-year rule. One notable exception, Bobby Fischer,
did manage to become a chess grand master in just nine
years, but it is likely that he did so by spending more time
practicing each year.
Many people are naive about how long it takes to become
an expert. Leo Tolstoy once observed that people often told
him they didn’t know whether or not they could write a
novel because they hadn’t tried – as if they only had to make
a single attempt to discover their natural ability to write.
Similarly, the authors of many self-help books appear to
assume that their readers are essentially ready for success
and simply need to take a few more easy steps to overcome
great hurdles. Popular lore is full of stories about unknown
athletes, writers, and artists who become famous overnight,
seemingly because of innate talent they’re “naturals,” peo-
ple say. However, when examining the devel-
opmental histories of experts, we unfailingly
discover that they spent a lot of time in train-
ing and preparation. Sam Snead, who’d been
called “the best natural player ever,” told Golf
Digest, “People always said I had a natural
swing. They thought I wasn’t a hard worker.
But when I was young, I’d play and practice
all day, then practice more at night by my car’s
headlights. My hands bled. Nobody worked
harder at golf than I did.
Not only do you have to be prepared to in-
vest time in becoming an expert, but you have
to start early – at least in some fi elds. Your abil-
ity to attain expert performance is clearly con-
strained if you have fewer opportunities to en-
gage in deliberate practice, and this is far from
a trivial constraint. Once, after giving a talk,
K. Anders Ericsson was asked by a member of
the audience whether he or any other person
could win an Olympic medal if he began train-
ing at a mature age. Nowadays, Ericsson replied,
it would be virtually impossible for anyone to
win an individual medal without a training
history comparable with that of today’s elite
performers, nearly all of whom started very
early. Many children simply do not get the op-
portunity, for whatever reason, to work with the best teach-
ers and to engage in the sort of deliberate practice that they
need to reach the Olympic level in a sport.
Find Coaches and Mentors
Arguably the most famous violin teacher of all time, Ivan
Galamian, made the point that budding maestros do not
engage in deliberate practice spontaneously: “If we analyze
the development of the well-known artists, we see that in al-
most every case the success of their entire career was depen-
dent on the quality of their practicing. In practically every
case, the practicing was constantly supervised either by the
teacher or an assistant to the teacher.
Research on world-class performers has confi rmed Galami-
an’s observation. It also has shown that future experts need
different kinds of teachers at different stages of their develop-
ment. In the beginning, most are coached by local teachers,
people who can give generously of their time and praise. Later
on, however, it is essential that performers seek out more-
advanced teachers to keep improving their skills. Eventually,
all top performers work closely with teachers who have them-
selves reached international levels of achievement.
Having expert coaches makes a difference in a variety of
ways. To start with, they can help you accelerate your learning
process. The thirteenth-century philosopher and scientist
Roger Bacon argued that it would be impossible to master
1284 Ericsson.indd 1201284 Ericsson.indd 120 6/7/07 9:27:46 AM6/7/07 9:27:46 AM
hbr.org | July–August 2007 | Harvard Business Review 121
mathematics in less than 30 years. And yet today individu-
als can master frameworks as complex as calculus in their
teens. The difference is that scholars have since organized
the material in such a way that it is much more accessible.
Students of mathematics no longer have to climb Everest by
themselves; they can follow a guide up a well-trodden path.
The development of expertise requires coaches who are
capable of giving constructive, even painful, feedback. Real
experts are extremely motivated students who seek out such
feedback. They’re also skilled at understanding when and if
a coach’s advice doesn’t work for them. The elite performers
we studied knew what they were doing right and concen-
trated on what they were doing wrong. They deliberately
picked unsentimental coaches who would challenge them
and drive them to higher levels of performance. The best
coaches also identify aspects of your performance that will
need to be improved at your next level of skill. If a coach
pushes you too fast, too hard, you will only be frustrated and
may even be tempted to give up trying to improve at all.
Relying on a coach has its limits, however. Statistics show
that radiologists correctly diagnose breast cancer from X-rays
about 70% of the time. Typically, young radiologists learn the
skill of interpreting X-rays by working alongside an “expert.
So it’s hardly surprising that the success rate has stuck at
70% for a long time. Imagine how much better radiology
might get if radiologists practiced instead by making diag-
nostic judgments using X-rays in a library of old verifi ed
cases, where they could immediately determine their ac-
curacy. We’re seeing these kinds of techniques used more
often in training. There is an emerging market in elaborate
simulations that can give professionals, especially in medi-
cine and aviation, a safe way to deliberately practice with
appropriate feedback.
So what happens when you become an Olympic gold
medalist, or an international chess master, or a CEO? Ideally,
as your expertise increased, your coach will have helped you
become more and more independent, so that you are able
to set your own development plans. Like good parents who
encourage their children to leave the nest, good coaches
help their students learn how to rely on an “inner coach.
Self-coaching can be done in any fi eld. Expert surgeons, for
example, are not concerned with a patient’s postoperative
status alone. They will study any unanticipated events that
took place during the surgery, to try to fi gure out how mis-
takes or misjudgments can be avoided in the future.
Benjamin Franklin provides one of the best examples of
motivated self-coaching. When he wanted to learn to write
eloquently and persuasively, he began to study his favorite
articles from a popular British publication, the Spectator.
Days after he’d read an article he particularly enjoyed, he
would try to reconstruct it from memory in his own words.
Then he would compare it with the original, so he could dis-
cover and correct his faults. He also worked to improve his
sense of language by translating the articles into rhyming
verse and then from verse back into prose. Similarly, famous
painters sometimes attempt to reproduce the paintings of
other masters.
Anyone can apply these same methods on the job. Say
you have someone in your company who is a masterly com-
municator, and you learn that he is going to give a talk to a
unit that will be laying off workers. Sit down and write your
own speech, and then compare his actual speech with what
you wrote. Observe the reactions to his talk and imagine
what the reactions would be to yours. Each time you can
generate by yourself decisions, interactions, or speeches that
match those of people who excel, you move one step closer
to reaching the level of an expert performer.
• • •
Before practice, opportunity, and luck can combine to cre-
ate expertise, the would-be expert needs to demythologize
the achievement of top-level performance, because the no-
tion that genius is born, not made, is deeply ingrained. It’s
perhaps most perfectly exemplifi ed in the person of Wolf-
gang Amadeus Mozart, who is typically presented as a child
prodigy with exceptional innate musical genius. Nobody
questions that Mozart’s achievements were extraordinary
compared with those of his contemporaries. What’s often
forgotten, however, is that his development was equally ex-
ceptional for his time. His musical tutelage started before
he was four years old, and his father, also a skilled composer,
was a famous music teacher and had written one of the fi rst
books on violin instruction. Like other world-class performers,
Mozart was not born an expert – he became one.
Reprint R0707J
To order, see page 195.
Real experts seek out constructive, even painful feedback. They’re
also skilled at understanding when and if a coach’s advice doesn’t
work for them.
1284 Ericsson.indd 1211284 Ericsson.indd 121 6/7/07 9:27:57 AM6/7/07 9:27:57 AM
... A powerful argument for the critical importance of both the amount and the intensity of training can be found in research into the nature of expertise (Ericsson & Charness, 1994;Ericsson et al., 2007). In short, it has been shown that what is needed to become truly skilled is a large amount of training at a deliberately directed and adapted level of intensity and difficulty. ...
... In short, it has been shown that what is needed to become truly skilled is a large amount of training at a deliberately directed and adapted level of intensity and difficulty. Humans are not born to become chess masters or elite musicians, but "experts are always made, not born" (Ericsson et al., 2007). Deliberate practice must be directed to a level where the training in question includes elements that one is not already skilled with, while at the same time building on elements that one is familiar with. ...
Full-text available
Article
Studies have shown that individuals with Down syndrome (DS) have difficulties with speech and working memory (WM). These findings have been used to develop an intervention based on computerized cognitive training (CCT) which targets cognitive skills, such as working memory, conceptual reasoning, attention, and speech therapy (ST) which targets the components of speech and language, such as oral motor skill and speech comprehension. Accordingly, in this study the feasibility of CCT and ST for improving intelligence scores in a 12-year-old boy with DS was investigated. The intelligence quotient of the participant was assessed before and after the 105 sessions of CCT and 75 sessions of ST. Also, the parents participated in a clinical interview. The results showed improvements in digit span and maze subtests of Wechsler intelligence scale for children (WISC-III) which indicate improvements in auditory working memory and planning, but overall IQ score was not significantly changed. Parents reported increase in math performance and attention, also reduction in rumination. This study suggests that CCT and ST are promising and efficient interventions in improving speech and cognitive skills in people with DS, but further investigation is necessary.
... Sensor technologies are being used for tracking learners' behavior and performance with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) [5,6]. Instructions and feedback can be given in a timely manner to ensure that the desired learning goal can be achieved faster [7]. Multimodal instruction and feedback components convey more and richer information in communication using multiple input and output modalities [8]. ...
... In the pedagogy dimension, the cognitive domain was the most chosen component, possibly due to the background details of most participants. Realtime feedback was the most popular intervention technique which is typically effective when mistakes can be corrected immediately [5,7]. RQ3: Based on the survey results, the participants think that audio technology can be used as a fundamental tool to provide instructions and feedback [5]. ...
Chapter
Immersive learning systems (ILSs) allow the recreation of an idealized world in virtual environments, providing experiences that can help learners in learning skills realistically. These environments are typically supported by immersive technologies to improve immersion and provide real-time feedback. However, designing an ILS is a strenuous process due to its wide selection of technologies, design practices, and pedagogical interventions. In this paper, we evaluate the unified taxonomy of ILS by conducting a qualitative analysis with 42 experts from various backgrounds. The evaluation covers the ILS strengths, ILS weaknesses, reusable ILS components, and additional ILS components.KeywordsImmersive learning systemsTaxonomyExpert evaluation
... Children come differently prepared for their study, but all have their strengths and weaknesses [6]. It is therefore very important to map their position right at the beginning of the reading program and provide them with appropriate training and challenges, what Ericsson calls 'deliberate practice' [7]. Ericsson's theory emphasizes the importance of systematic training over time with well-defined specific goals. ...
Full-text available
Article
The aim of this article was to present an important perspective on reading skill development. The perspective ‘READ’ builds on the phonics approach which has been found to be most important in relation to reading achievement i.e., to teach children to break the reading code. In addition, READ builds on theories within learning and skill development. The Ericsson concept of ‘deliberate practice’ refer to baseline measurements that provide a basis for follow-up and deliberate practice. The concept of ‘flow’ is also of great importance where challenges are always in relation to the skills. It means that each child will be able to experience ‘flow’ where mastery is the key word, feeling I CAN! When mastery is experienced, the dopamine hormone gives the feeling of reward. Stimuli, experience, and repetition is also a key word in the ‘training hour’ where children get the possibility to strengthen the neural network that is used for specific skills which are trained. In this respect, the letter-sound knowledge is trained until the child has broken the reading code. The results from the first year in the school in Vestmannaeyjar in Iceland indicates that all the children were able to break the reading code or read simple words. In addition, 96% of the children were able to read sentences, and 88% where able to read text. These promising results are discussed in relation to Ericsson’s and Csikszentmihalyi’s important theories.
... Becoming an expert in a particular area requires a level of performance that is clearly superior than that of others as well as yields observable and measurable outcomes that can be repeated by others (Ericsson, Prietula, & Cokely, 2007). The use of ICT in education has made classroom instruction simpler and more efficient, making more and more competent teachers. ...
Article
Not only does Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have the potential to increase the efficacy and efficiency of teaching and learning, it also has the potential to lessen administrative obligations. This study investigates the extent to which secretarial staff and business teachers use of digital research proficiency in information and communication technology skills in their day-to-day interactions in secondary schools in Benue State. Specifically, a descriptive survey research approach was used for this investigation.The study tested four hypotheses and answered four research questions at 0. 05 level of significance. The study's population was 53 respondents that comprised 38 business teachers and 15 secretaries from public secondary schools in zone C of Benue State which were drawn from 15 secondary schools that offer Business subjects through simple random sampling technique. The entire population of 53 respondents was sampled because of the manageability. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data. To answer the research questions, the collected data were analysed using mean and standard deviation while T- test statistics were used to test the null hypotheses at the 0.05 level of significance. It was suggested based on the findings that Business personnel can exchange diverse ideas using ICT without being constrained by any factor or area by adopting the relevant skills required for each task. The study findings also suggest that teaching can be improved once the students understand the mechanics of classroom-related technologies.
... For example, The Scientista Foundation, a large collective of U.S. women pursuing STEM degrees at various higher education institutions, links the concepts outlined by Gladwell (2008) that cleverly synthesized this distinction in a popular piece comparing experts and non-experts in sports, music, and other fields, with the expert being differentiated not by innate ability but by thousands of hours of practice (Mathews, 2013). Further literature by Ericsson et al. (2007) goes into greater detail, studying and elucidating the concept of genius being made, not born, providing evidence through case studies. Interestingly, one example involved upsetting the notion that females had subpar spatial thinking through a case study demonstrating that three sisters became top-ranking female chess players through a regimented education program. ...
Full-text available
Article
This study used a qualitative approach to examine potential obstacles to and challenges in working in a STEM field for females from underrepresented groups. Unstructured interviews with 11 adult females representing diverse groups and various STEM careers yielded important historical perspectives, along with recommendations for building STEM careers for young females today. The findings indicated the critical role of having a strong mentor, role model, or support system in place along the STEM pathway; the need to work with and engage females in STEM activities and subjects when they are as young as possible, preferably while in primary/elementary school; and the importance of developing a sense of STEM self-efficacy in young females. Recommendations are given to inform studies in science communication and informal education.
... Unlike first language acquisition, second language is less likely to be successfully acquired. In fact, Ericsson, Prietula and Cokely (2007) argue that based on the 10,000-hour model of expertise, it will take 104 years for a learner learning in school with four hours contact per week to achieve fluency in the target language. Similarly, Eaton (2011) deliberates that it will take two years to completely acquire a second language through immersion with 16 hours per day of contact in any communication forms. ...
Full-text available
Article
This multiple case study investigated the influence of extroversion and introversion in the acquisition of vocabulary in a second language. There were two child-subjects ages seven and eight who are extrovert and introvert, respectively. Their first language is Kalagan and they were exposed to Sinama through letting them involve directly in interactions in the language for twelve weeks; there was no teaching of vocabulary. Children's utterances as well as their behavior were observed and documented using audio, video and/or anecdotal records. The naturalistic data taken from the recordings were the bases of analysis. The results show that the extrovert child was able to utilize more Sinama vocabularies in the course of interactions compared to the introvert child. However, he talked with less reflection making some words he uttered not appropriate in the context. On the other hand, the introvert child was able to comprehend more vocabularies compared to the extrovert child. Moreover, he carefully thought of the words to utter in conversation, making his words appropriate to the context. Thus, the results of the study suggest that these two psychological factors have a major influence on second language vocabulary acquisition processes, in which extroversion has positive influence on fluency, while introversion positively influences accuracy.
Article
In scientific studies, three approaches are used to identify experts in organizational research: sociological, behavioral, and cognitive. In the sociological approach, the emphasis is on the socio-political status of a person. The behavioral approach focuses on how choices are made in situations of uncertainty. In the cognitive approach, the subject of the thought process is considered directly. The article shows the limitations of each of the approaches. Methods for identification of experts in organizational research in domestic and foreign scientific studies are given. Methods are considered: social acclamation, political influence, problem situation, personal involvement, external cues, self-ratings, past performance, knowledge tests, psychological traits. The advantages and disadvantages of each method are shown. Expert identification methods provide a set of opportunities for researchers of organization and organizational behavior, depending on the need for: expert judgment or expert knowledge; expert evaluation procedures or the product of professional activity; knowledge of a topic, a problem, highly specialized markets or representation of the interests of specific actors, groups, ideas, concepts. The author uses general logical research methods: induction, deduction, analysis, synthesis, scientific abstraction, comparison and contrasting.
Chapter
Medical simulation is increasingly being utilized as a core component of the undergraduate and graduate medical education programs as an attractive complement to both the formal and informal curricula of medical training. The attractiveness of simulation in medical education programs is the result of its generation of an environment from which learners of all levels can practice application of knowledge and new skills without placing patients in potential injurious situations. Additionally, medical simulation has recently become popular as a component of the maintenance of board certification programs for many practicing physicians owing to the unique opportunities for demonstration of clinical reasoning and team dynamics in a realistic but safe environment. Students should approach medical simulation with an open mind and an appreciation for how simulation events can hone one’s knowledge and skills development to complement their formal and informal course work. The student should comfortably approach these unique learning opportunities with a mindset that will help ensure retention of the simulation’s learning objectives. A working understanding of the different types of simulation, how simulation can effectively be used as an important component of the medical education in anesthesiology, and what a learner can expect when participating in a simulation are all important for the learner to appreciate in order to be a successful student in the simulation laboratory.KeywordsMedical simulationCrisis resource managementTeam trainingSimulation laboratorySimulation mannequin
Article
Helping athletes become their best is a constant challenge for all coaches. Having a model or blueprint for teaching skills and correcting errors is essential for quality coaching. The article explores the concepts associated with deep, deliberate, purpose practice and presents a model for teaching sport skill that we call DP2.
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any references for this publication.