New York Magazine:
Practice is a hot concept, especially in the age of high-stakes testing and Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell, you may recall, claimed in his 2008 book Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours of practice time (or therabouts) to achieve mastery of a skill. Since then, the claim has come in for a fair amount of debunking, and a new study in Psychological Science further complicates things. Practice, accordings to its findings, doesn’t do a great job explaining why some people are better than others at a given skill.
The study is a meta-analysis that examined the results of 88 previous studies about practice and performance covering a wide variety of activities, and it found that on the whole “practice accounted for only about 12% of individual differences observed in performance across the various domains,” as the press release puts it.
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