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Showing posts from 2011

Do recent publications prove Anders Ericsson and colleagues wrong about the importance of deliberate practice? No.

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About deliberate practice
I have written much about deliberate practice. Researchers have demonstrated there is a lack of evidence for the claim that natural ability is the main factor behind top performance. They have found out that what is crucial instead is the amount of time the individual has practiced and the specific way in which he or she has practiced (read more about deliberate practice hereand here). Recently, two articles were published on the relative importance of deliberate practice and 'talent' for achieving high levels of performance. First, there was Deliberate Practice Is Necessary but Not Sufficient to Explain Individual Differences in Piano Sight-Reading Skill by E. Meinz and D. Hambrick. Second, there was Deliberate Practice: Necessary But Not Sufficientby G. Campitelli and F. Gobet. Do these articles shed a new light on how important deliberate practice is? Do they call for a return to the idea that innate abilities are, in the end, more importan…

Promoting freedom and influence around the world

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Abolishing dictatorships
That several peoples in several North African and Middle Eastern countries are revolting against their dictators seems a good thing to me. I think all people desire for freedom and influence and all countries deserve and are potentially capable of democratic self-rule. I am convinced that the liberation of these countries will not only free the peoples of those countries but also make peace in the region and in the world at large more likely. Why? Because I think that the tendency towards war usually (perhaps always) begins with tyranny; the threat of war seems like the fuel on which tyranny runs. Whenever non-democratic leaders face opposition from the people they attempt to neutralize this by creating fear and control. The reliable way to do this is to create the threat of war with self-created external enemies. This way they legitimatize the enforcement of loyalty. This may explain why dictators often routinely use a language of hate and violence up to the …