What if talent is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades.
One idea you may have heard of that came from Ericsson’s research: the 10,000-hour rule. Stephen Dubner and Ericsson discuss what Ericsson believes people get wrong about his work, and how he feels about this “magic number.” At one point Stephen Dubner speaks with the person who popularized the idea of the 10,000-hour rule — Malcolm Gladwell.
Illustration by Jennifer Austin