K. Anders Ericsson, Prof of Psychology, Florida State University


K. Anders Ericsson, Prof of Psychology, Florida State University

Sage 4101

November 13, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM



Recent research in many domains of expertise, such as chess, music, medicine, and sports, shows that most forms of experience have surprisingly limited benefits for increasing performance. In contrast, research on expert performance demonstrates that some types of experience, such as focused appropriate training activities--deliberate practice--can dramatically change the human body (enlargement of hearts and arteries and growth of capillaries) and brain (myelinization and blood supply of nerve fibers), and over extended time modify virtually all characteristics relevant to superior performance, with the exception of body size and height.

The acquisition of expert and elite performance involves a successive development of increasingly refined mental mechanisms that afford experts increased control over their performance. A theoretical analysis of the full range of elite performers’ learning, skill acquisition, and physiological adaptations is now providing the foundation for a scientifically-based account of the human potential that is attainable through optimal development and deliberate practice. Implications for traditional K-12, college, and professional training is discussed.


Toward a Science of Exceptional Achievement - Attaining Superior Performance through Deliberate Practice


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