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“What makes a great violinist, physicist, or crossword puzzle solver? Are experts born or made? The question has intrigued psychologists since psychology was born—and the rest of us, too, who may secretly fantasize playing duets with Yo Yo Ma or winning a Nobel Prize in science. It’s no wonder Malcolm Gladwell stayed atop the bestseller lists by popularizing the “10,000-hour rule” of Florida State University psychologist K. Anders Ericsson. Using Ericsson’s pioneering work—but omitting equally prominent, contradictory, research—Gladwell’s book Outliers argued that given a certain level of intelligence and a bit of luck, virtually anybody can get to Carnegie Hall—provided they practice, practice, practice.... More>
Michael Jordan, Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie. Most people can probably name some award-winning athletes, musicians, and actors. But, if you were asked to name the winners of last year’s Nobel Prizes in Economics, Physics, or Literature, could you do it?... More>
Colleges, employers, and the military all use aptitude tests to predict how well someone might do. In recent years, some critics of these tests have said there isn’t much difference in performance above a certain level—that, above a certain threshold, everyone is more or less the same. Now, in a new study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, the authors find that this isn’t true. Instead, the higher your score, the better you perform later.... More>