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James Clear does a nice write up called The Beginners guide to Deliberate Practice

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  • James Clear does a nice write up called The Beginners guide to Deliberate Practice

    http://jamesclear.com/beginners-guid...erate-practice

    Extract from above :

    In some circles, Ben Hogan is credited with “inventing practice.”

    Hogan was one of the greatest golfers of the 20th century, an accomplishment he achieved through tireless repetition. He simply loved to practice. Hogan said, “I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning so I could hit balls. I’d be at the practice tee at the crack of dawn, hit balls for a few hours, then take a break and get right back to it.” [1]

    For Hogan, every practice session had a purpose. He reportedly spent years breaking down each phase of the golf swing and testing new methods for each segment. The result was near perfection. He developed one of the most finely-tuned golf swings in the history of the game.

    His precision made him more like a surgeon than a golfer. During the 1953 Masters, for example, Hogan hit the flagstick on back-to-back holes. A few days later, he broke the tournament scoring record. [2]

    Hogan methodically broke the game of golf down into chunks and figured out how he could master each section. For example, he was one of the first golfers to assign specific yardages to each golf club. Then, he studied each course carefully and used trees and sand bunkers as reference points to inform him about the distance of each shot. [3]

    Hogan finished his career with nine major championships ranking fourth all-time. During his prime, other golfers siimply attributed his remarkable success to “Hogan’s secret.” Today, experts have a new term for his rigorous style of improvement: deliberate practice.
    Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
    Performance cannot be purchased.

    "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.


  • #2
    You clearly are impressed by the deliberative practice thing. However, I am somewhat bemused. On the one hand the deliberative part seems obvious: you don't just practice you practice specific things. Examples like: musicians concentrating on the difficult passages - how else would you do it? Sports coaches have been trying to identify weaknesses and devising exercises to target those weaknesses just about for ever. Its certainly what my tennis and swimming coaches did as far back as the late sixties. Maybe it was new in 1953.

    On the other hand it seem like the latest spin in the nature/nurture argument that psychologists are fond of. I've learnt to distrust either extreme. Practice is important, but so is talent. It is just as bad to encouraging people to waste their time persisting in things they are not suited to as it is to let them think they can succeed without effort.

    I've had these thoughts in the back of my mind for a while, but today I came across a couple of articles about research which supports my view: Sorry, but practice alone does not make perfect, and What chess players can teach us about intelligence and expertise.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yep. I know both those articles
      You notice that they're both about chess players and all the studies on them are chess players.
      Neither of them say that you don't need practice and lots of it.
      They just say that someone with greater intelligence AND a lot of practice makes a better chess player.

      And I'd also like to point out very clearly so that people have a chance of actually saying "Bull****" when they hear "the 10,000 hour rule"

      If someone reads research wrong and then writes a popular book about it with a certain phrase that has a simple rule in it, the Author of the original research spends the rest of his life saying "That's not what I found at all!"

      So if you see someone trying to disprove the 10,000 hour rule, you should know that no such thing exists and Malcolm Gladwell just picked it out of his arse after reading Ericcson's work on Violin Players.

      (And I've had a go at James Clear for not actually reviewing the source material. He's now quite likely done that and you very likely will never hear him say it..)
      Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
      Performance cannot be purchased.

      "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Andy! View Post
        Yep. I know both those articles
        You notice that they're both about chess players and all the studies on them are chess players.
        Neither of them say that you don't need practice and lots of it.
        They just say that someone with greater intelligence AND a lot of practice makes a better chess player.
        [...]
        They also "reanalysed" data on music. They also looked at correlation with other cognitive measures which gives some indication that their results are likely to generalise to other activities requiring cognitive skill, but as always, generalising is risky.

        Finally they came up with roughly 2/3 of the effect being talent and 1/3 practice, which if true, is quite a different picture than that painted by DP advocates who suggest that innate attributes are only relevant in exceptional cases such as the height of basket ball players. The DP argument seems to be that human cognition is effectively unbounded so that any learned skill is only affected by DP.

        To quote Ericsson (via Wikipedia):
        People believe that because expert performance is qualitatively different from a normal performance the expert performer must be endowed with characteristics qualitatively different from those of normal adults. [...] We agree that expert performance is qualitatively different from normal performance and even that expert performers have characteristics and abilities that are qualitatively different from or at least outside the range of those of normal adults. However, we deny that these differences are immutable, that is, due to innate talent. Only a few exceptions, most notably height, are genetically prescribed. Instead, we argue that the differences between expert performers and normal adults reflect a life-long period of deliberate effort to improve performance in a specific domain.

        Comment


        • #5
          What tends to happen in this case is that I like to point out that anyone who wants to read the research on this can do so.
          I have spent about 300 bucks on all of Ericcson's studies. I just tell you that it's there.

          These studies address a simplistic case rather than EVERYTHING that is in Ericcson's research. I'd suggest reading Peak which is designed basically to ensure that you can understand exactly what he's saying.

          However, people are genetically predispositioned towards intelligence. That's been known for years. Children have greater neuroplasticity. What they're saying isn't rocket science. Not everyone gets good at the same rate, but nobody popped out of their mother being full of expertise for anything other that what everyone has. Some just learned faster because they were better at forming neural linkages.
          Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
          Performance cannot be purchased.

          "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
            [...]
            These studies address a simplistic case rather than EVERYTHING that is in Ericcson's research.
            An accessible cogent articulation of the argument is
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...60289613000421. I don't think the analysis is simplistic. So, if DP does not apply to music or chess, what else does is not apply to? It rather weakens the case don't you think?
            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
            However, people are genetically predispositioned towards intelligence. That's been known for years. Children have greater neuroplasticity. What they're saying isn't rocket science. Not everyone gets good at the same rate, but nobody popped out of their mother being full of expertise for anything other that what everyone has. Some just learned faster because they were better at forming neural linkages.
            The heritability of intelligence has been known for years. Interestingly it hasn't stopped many arguing the contrary. What would you call innate talent if not learning a skill faster than others? Of course, no one is born with skill in (say) archery, but I wouldn't discount some being born with attributes which make learning archery easier. I don't know what they are, but I'd hazard a guess that emotional stability might be one.

            You seem happy with general intelligence being largely heritable. You do know that general intelligence is considered to have many factors and there is no reason to suppose that everyone with the same g will have the same aptitude for a particular skill?

            The strong form of the DP hypothesis is that genetic differences might make some more inclined to persist with DP, but that DP subsumes everything else.

            The weak form: That DP is one factor and not necessarily the strongest factor, is unsurprising and not the sort of thing which makes best sellers. But it is the most likely, IMHO, based largely on a distrust of categorical statements.

            Comment


            • #7
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              • #8
                Originally posted by iandall View Post
                So, if DP does not apply to music or chess, what else does is not apply to? It rather weakens the case don't you think?
                Step 1. Read ALL the available information.
                Step 2. Consider the weight of pro vs con.
                Step 3. Avoid discussing anything about it on a forum devoted to archery.
                Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
                Performance cannot be purchased.

                "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've put the deliberate practice theory to the test - however as discussed in a different thread I adopted the 'do the opposite and see if I get a different result' methodology. I have deliberately not methodically broken the game of archery into chunks and have not figured out how to master each section. As a result my performance has not improved... magic
                  All bleeding stops... eventually.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                    Step 1. Read ALL the available information.
                    That is a big ask. I don't think anyone has done that, even amongst professional psychologists.

                    I haven't read the entire Ericsson canon (and don't plan to), but I have read the seminal 1993 paper.

                    Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                    Step 2. Consider the weight of pro vs con.
                    Done.


                    Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                    Step 3. Avoid discussing anything about it on a forum devoted to archery.
                    Ah, well it wasn't me that started this thread. My motivation is simply to point out that the DP hypothesis is by no means universally accepted and to provide pointers for people to follow up.

                    I am not a psychologist and I'm pretty sure neither are you, so I doubt we will resolve anything.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The point is that almost everyone takes the opinion that the evidence says that anyone can become the best at anything if they practice properly for long enough.

                      I have to explain that this is not the case to an unending supply of morons across six different forums. I'm just ****ing over it.

                      The evidence clearly proves that nobody is born an expert. This is the one thing that I want to pound into the brains of the populace whose parents told them that they had some mysterious gift.
                      People seem to think that millions of brain cells just randomly align themselves to give someone magical skillsets, with no effort.

                      I totally don't give a rats arse if there are studies showing that some people do better because they're smarter or have a greater ability to hold things in memory.

                      Because they just prove that if you give a person with superior mental facilities and learning ability training, they'll benefit from it better BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO GROW NEURONS FASTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE.

                      I distinctly remember posting that this was one of the few actual gifts you can be born with.

                      This is not a field of psychology. It is neuroscience.

                      The reason you don't discuss neuroscience on an archery forum is that you end up trying to educate people who aren't interested in learning about it by acquiring the foundation knowledge.

                      Too many people want to believe in fairytale bull**** and will point endless anecdotes at scientific observations like they do with global warming.

                      If you want to actually see how what that group discovered fits the framework of Ericsson's findings, go talk to him. He has a public email address.
                      Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
                      Performance cannot be purchased.

                      "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ADO15 View Post
                        I've put the deliberate practice theory to the test - however as discussed in a different thread I adopted the 'do the opposite and see if I get a different result' methodology. I have deliberately not methodically broken the game of archery into chunks and have not figured out how to master each section. As a result my performance has not improved... magic
                        Ah, you jest! Seriously though, I think the most useful part of the deliberate practice theory is the definition of deliberate practice. After all, it matters little if there is an innate talent factor when the learnt part is the only thing you can change. I thought the bit about no more than 4 hours a day was interesting and I liked the idea of an afternoon nap! It is also interesting that the need for a teacher/coach is practically part of the definition. I was less convince about the need for it to not be enjoyable and don't think Ericsson's own data really supports that conclusion. Maybe enjoyable is not the right word, but a lot of people get a kick out of mastering something difficult.

                        When it comes to archery, you get pretty good feedback on the shot as a whole from the score. The trouble is, the the final result is a composite of all the chunks and it is less easy to identify exactly which chunk went wrong how. Breaking the shot cycle into chunks isn't hard - that's done, but it is not obvious how to get feedback on chunks without a coach. I've tried using a shot trainer (home made version meant to help with release and keeping bow arm strong) but not convinced it helps much.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by iandall View Post
                          Ah, you jest!
                          Yes... but only because your challenge amused me. For every paper that asserts 'black' you'll likely find another that claims 'white'. I don't necessarily agree (or disagree) with you, Andy, or Mr Ericsson - I am simply unconvinced by academic argument alone. I lean towards practical application and real world results. My eclectic career has included time served as a sessional uni lecturer and during that time I witnessed too many random double blind trials get steered towards a popular outcome by John Pertwee doppelgangers to place a great deal of faith in 'peer review'.

                          I wonder how many Ericsson papers Jesse Broadwater has read?
                          All bleeding stops... eventually.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                            The point is that almost everyone takes the opinion that the evidence says that anyone can become the best at anything if they practice properly for long enough.
                            I think "anyone" is overreach.

                            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                            The evidence clearly proves that nobody is born an expert.
                            I think this is a strawman. I have literally never heard anyone argue this. Maybe I don't hang out in the right places.

                            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                            Because they just prove that if you give a person with superior mental facilities and learning ability training, they'll benefit from it better BECAUSE THEY HAVE THE ABILITY TO GROW NEURONS FASTER THAN OTHER PEOPLE.

                            I distinctly remember posting that this was one of the few actual gifts you can be born with.
                            So you are pretty much arguing the "blank slate" view except you are admitting to the possibility that the quality of the slate (metaphorically speaking) might vary.

                            The thing is, the nature vs nurture debate has been probably the longest running one in psychology. Your view would have been pretty much the mainstream from about 1970 to 1995, but not now. Twin studies are the gold standard for estimating heritability and there are a host of metrics which have a heritable component. Current mainstream view is much more that there is a complex interplay between nature and nurture.

                            Some areas, such as elite performance, are not suitable for twin studies because the populations are too small. Lack of evidence is not evidence of lack though and it is a bit odd that this area where a strong nurture argument is being put also happens to be one area where the best test is not possible.

                            Originally posted by Andy! View Post
                            If you want to actually see how what that group discovered fits the framework of Ericsson's findings, go talk to him. He has a public email address.
                            In fact his response is available. The main counter argument seems to be that they are not measuring the right kind of practice. Fair enough - Erricsson has always argued that the nature of the practice is critical. Of course, the countercounter argument is that this is a "one true scotsman" argument.

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                            • #15
                              Yep. Your first two points are valid.
                              I tend to forget to discriminate who I'm specifically talking to and about. But don't worry, people having the "he's a natural at doing -- whatever" reaction, pretty firmly embedded.

                              I'm not arguing the blank slate. It's categorically proven. I'm also not arguing slate quality. It is also proven.

                              I also have direct personal experience with inheritable components. My full older brother was given away before I was born. I met him for 30 minutes when I was 25 and didn't see him again until I was 42. He has the identical speech patterns and hesitations as my younger brother. That's just the start of a stream of unusual coincidences.

                              The entire concept of Dedicated Practice isn't something that Ericcson discovered. It's well established in most well developed training schemes such as Piano and Violin.

                              He just verified that it played a considerable part of the time spent by people who are considered experts and that in no cases he has currently investigated, ( including "idiot savants") does a person considered an domain expert have no history in practicing the skills required to demonstrate a level of mastery.

                              There is no minimum period. There's just time spent practicing.
                              Status is not defined by the amount of gear in your signature.
                              Performance cannot be purchased.

                              "The Internet offers everything - except quality control" - K. Anders Ericsson.

                              Comment

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