Tuesday 19th November 2019

    What Separates Elite Achievers From Average Performers?


    Inthe 1990s, a trio of psychologists from the Universität der Künst in Berlin embarked on a quest to answer the question: What separates elite achievers from average performers? Their resulting research became the basis of the so-called "10,000 hour rule," popularized by psychology writer Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers - the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to achieve true mastery of a skill. (Gladwell has pushed back on the interpretation over the years, but the popular conception of the rule has taken on a life of its own.)

    For their study, the researchers gathered a set of star violin players, ones who professors believed would become world-class performers. Let's call this group the stars. They also put together another group: students who were serious about the violin, but as their professors noted, not in the same league as the stars. We'll call this group the mediocres.

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