From Fast Company: Can 10,000 hours of prac­tice really make you an expert at anything? The widely touted theory, high­lighted in a 1993 psychology paper and popu­lar­ized by Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers, says that anyone can master a skill with 10,000 hours of prac­tice. There’s even a Mack­le­more song about it, so that makes it real.

Scien­tists, however, remain skep­tical. A recent study by a group of psychol­o­gists from five univer­si­ties, rebuffs Gladwell’s wisdom. Different levels of delib­erate prac­tice can only explain one third of the vari­a­tion in perfor­mance levels in chess players and musi­cians, the authors found, “leaving the majority of the reli­able vari­ance unex­plained and poten­tially explain­able by other factors.” In other words, prac­tice is great! But prac­tice alone won’t make you Yo Yo Ma. It could also have to do with person­ality, the age you started, intel­li­gence, or some­thing else entirely. · Go to Scien­tists debunk the myth that 10,000 hours of prac­tice makes you an expert →