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Jen >> Chrck this Video


7/23/09 9:19 PM
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m.g
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Here is a prime example of what consistent practice will do for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjEV6CDlLWE
7/24/09 1:25 PM
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Bolo
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When it comes to achieving a desired result, I think the hardest thing is not consistency alone, but rather consistency in doing something you may not want or like to do or when it is not convenient, but need to in order to achieve that result. It's easy to be consistent if it is something you like or want to do.
7/25/09 9:51 AM
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m.g
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Bolo,

That's a good point. But that is the essence of "deliberate practice".

Deliberate Practice is the new buzz word going around these days. Alot of best selling books, like THE TALENT CODE by Daniel Coyle and TALENT IS MYTH by Geoff Colvin have been written about the subject.

The concept derives from scientific research on the subject of "expertise". Scientific researchers have been studying, for many years (decades), how people become experts/highly skilful in various skills. Researchers concluded that true expertise comes from "deliberate practice". They further conclude that more days and hours of "deliberate practice" is what actually separates the good from the average, very good from the good and the excellent from the very good.

Deliberate practice is defined as specific effort design to improve a given skill.

Some of the implied key aspects of deliberate practice that are necessary to make it work are:

1) willingness and high motivation

2) consistency/frequency

3) continually and persistantly working on skills one doesn't know or haven't master until they are mastered.

4) long term committment to improving one skills.


Anyway much has been written about the subject recently. The best work is a 44 page research article that appeared in the 1993 issue of Psychological Review. The Article is called THE ROLE OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE IN THE ACQUISITION OF EXPERT PERFORMANCE by K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf th. Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer.
7/25/09 1:09 PM
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Bolo
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The whole thing about about scientific search on the subject is amusing. It seems like common sense. Heck, asian parents have been beating those ideas into their kids when it comes to academics and music for generations!
7/25/09 2:52 PM
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laqueus
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Practice is common sense, deliberate practice is only common sense once it's been pointed out. The impression I get from tutoring Asian kids is their parents are interested primarily in hours of work, not quality of the work.
7/25/09 2:57 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 07/25/09 3:28 PM
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That's somewhat true. When I was in 7th grade, my mom had me wake up at 5am to study since my grades were not up to her standard. I felt it was pointless because it was too sleepy to really study. That's why I never did "all nighters" in college. I felt that I wasn't really absorbing the information when I was really tired, so I felt that it was pointless to keep trying to study and keep the books open at that point.

However, since m.g. wrote, "Deliberate practice is defined as specific effort design to improve a given skill," what the asian parents do seems to fit that definition since the asian kids tend to get the highest scores (I'm the exception to that rule though!).
7/25/09 8:07 PM
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m.g
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Edited: 07/25/09 8:11 PM
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Bolo,

Your right in that alot of scientific research seems to be a confirmation of "common sense". BUT that is kind of the point of the scientific research. Unfortunately "common sense" isn't all that common. What should be known to everybody isn't accepted as truth by everybody.

Furthermore, alot of concepts, ideas, principles, etc are tossed out in this world as being "fact" or "truth" or "common sense". Alot of these concepts, ideas, principles etc are "accepted" without any proof other than people simply saying and believing they are true.

Ideally, science is suppose to confirm or reaffirm or dispell what is held to be truth. Science is also suppose to dig deeper into what is supposedly true and provide more insight and revelation.


Deliberate practice may be "common sense" for some but it now "confirmed" and "reaffirmed" by science. In other words, science has "proven" (at least provided over-whelming tangible evidence) that deliberate practice isn't just a subjective point of view of a few people and that it a principle/concept that actually works for a large number of people of different ages, in different fields, etc.

Incidently the scientific research dealing with Deliberate practice is much much more than a "confirmation". The research has revealed alot of fascinating information about the various aspects and characteristics that go into deliberate practice.
7/25/09 9:48 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 07/26/09 1:52 PM
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I understand that point of scientific research and I'm not saying that the results of the research doesn't reveal some fascinating things, but I guess the issue I have with all that is when some people no longer observe the reality of what is right in front of them because a scientific study has not proven it to be a fact. Some people in today's society tend to have at attitude like "the sky isn't blue until a scientific study proves that it is blue. So the fact that everyone sees it is blue is just anecdotal."

People have been achieving goals and improving skills since the beginning of human history, so it just seemed to me that people know what it takes to to improve skills without any scientific study because it has been repeated over and over throughout time and in all cultures. It kind of reminds me of this: http://www.popsci.com/node/10377
7/27/09 6:20 PM
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m.g
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Edited: 07/27/09 6:34 PM
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Bolo,

Again you make a very good and legit point. But like I said unfortunately "common sense" doesn't seem to be very common.

You're right people really DON'T need science to tell them what they already know and more often than not science often ends up "confirming" what is already believed to be true.

But the one thing many of these studies achieve beyond confirming the obvious is establish distinctions and even boundaries in matters people regard as truth.

What I mean by that is people's view or understanding of the "truth" or what is "common sense" if often tainted by subjectivity.


So yeah, the average joe, for example may understand what it takes to improve skills, but the average joe understanding of that subject may also be filled with alot of nonsense and superstition.

For example, did you know the main reason for all this scientific research into skill development was to refute the idea that talent or skill is "innate" or "genetic" or "natural" and the like?

There are alot of people in the world who feel that talent cannot be taught, high level skill cannot be achieved and that people who are talented or highly skilful are naturally gifted. This is a common view and most of the scientific research in this subject was meant to refute that notion.
7/28/09 12:04 AM
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cincibill
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People are very interesting.
Take our legal system as an example of where we have an expert argue the pro's and con's of every point. Does a jury decide on facts? Absolutely not, they decide on their perception of materials presented.

In general it seems we are happy to lie to ourselves to justify our desires, we'll find some junk science to refute the truth and prove our point.

m.g
I have both books on reserve, they should be an interesting read. I'll see if I can find the article.
7/28/09 12:14 AM
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cincibill
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I also want to read OUTLIERS by Malcolm Gladwell. Published by Little, Brown and Company on November 18, 2008.

In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, and how two people with exceptional intelligence, Christopher Langan and J. Robert Oppenheimer, end up with such vastly different fortunes. Throughout the publication, Gladwell repeatedly mentions the "10,000-Hour Rule", claiming that the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practising a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.
7/28/09 2:44 AM
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Bolo
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Edited: 07/28/09 2:52 AM
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"There are alot of people in the world who feel that talent cannot be taught, high level skill cannot be achieved and that people who are talented or highly skillful are naturally gifted."

Personally, I believe that this perception is a result of a growing attitude of lack of self-responsibility. You can see this lack of self-responsibility growing in so many aspects of our society. If someone doesn't succeed, they are a somehow a victim.

I read something a while back that said how many parents were try to get their kids ahead academically by having them begin hardcore academics at a very young age (pre-school, kinder). The article stated that while it may look impressive to the parents and other adults, hardcore academics (done in the traditional manner) was detrimental to the child's ability to be creative and think for themselves when they got older. The reason being that harcore academics at a young age programs a young child to work like a robot and just repeat what was told or shown to them without any true understanding of what they were doing. Basically, "Don't think, just repeat." This made me think about how some parents are raising a generation of kids who are book smart, but have no street smarts or common sense.
7/28/09 4:41 PM
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m.g
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Edited: 08/05/09 12:25 PM
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Cincibill,

Much of the information in Malcolm Gladwell's book OUTLIERS comes from the scientific research I previously mentioned. In fact even 10,000-Hour (or 10 years) Rule comes from the research I previously mentioned (THE ROLE OF DELIBERATE PRACTICE IN THE ACQUISITION OF EXPERT PERFORMANCE by K. Anders Ericsson, Ralf th. Krampe and Clemens Tesch-Romer specifically mentions the 10,000 hours/10 year rule).

BUT it is important that this 10,000 hours/10 year rule must be view in context.

This rule or principle doesn't work if critical thinking is not involved. In other words one can't just do a bunch of reps of a given skill or robotically perform the skilled task for 10,000 hours or 10 years and expect to be a skilful expert.

Every reps, every practice session has to purposeful and goal oriented. The individual has to CRITICALLY THINK about everything that is done in a given practice session and the individual has to perform everything in the practice session with improvement in mind. And this, of course, is carried out over a time frame of 10,000 hours or 10 years.

Critical thinking is a very big part of deliberate practice. Without critical thinking deliberate practice isn't deliberate practice but something else entirely.

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