Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Business News

Study proves that the 10,000 hour rule is a myth

(Business News) We’ve all heard the 10,000 hour rule and have worked our tails off to become experts in our field, but a new study says practice only accounts for 12% of performance. Uh oh.

practice perfect

practice perfect

The 10,000 hour rule

Swedish psychologist K. Anders Ericsson coined the “10,000 Hour Rule,” which states that practicing a task for 10,000 creates expertise in that task. Play guitar for 10,000 hours and you’ll have expertise. Play soccer for 10,000 hours and you’ll have expertise. Blog for 10,000 hours and you’ll have expertise. It makes sense, because hard work is the number one ingredient for success, but a new study says this is all garbage.

Sure, practice helps, but it doesn’t make perfect. A new study by Princeton University, published in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, indicates that practice only accounts for 12 percent of performance. Twelve. Ouch.

bar
The study looked at 88 other studies on practice and performance in the categories of education, sports, games, music, (and most important to us) business professionals. These studies centered around people learning new skills, how much practice they committed to, and how their performance improved.

First and foremost, the study did reveal that practice is important, and most people don’t excel without it, but it only accounted for 12 percent of individual differences in performance across all of the subcategories.

Below is the individual amounts of difference between people that practice explained for the individual domains:

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
  • Games: 25 percent practice
  • Sports: 18 percent practice
  • Education: 4 percent practice
  • Professional performance: less than 1 percent practice

That doesn’t exactly line up with the claim that 10,000 hours (or 10 years) creates expertise. The study illustrates this by noting when learning the piano, some barely practiced and excelled, while other practiced endlessly without ever performing well.

What does it take besides practice?

There’s more to becoming an expert than practice. The study says intelligence, working memory capacity, personality, and even how early in life you start may have more of an impact on your performance than practice.

Brooke Macnamara, who led the study opined, “There is no doubt that deliberate practice is important, from both a statistical and a theoretical perspective. It is just less important than has been argued. For scientists, the important question now is, what else matters?”

Dr. Jeremy Dean at PsyBlog said, “It’s easy to see why the message that anyone can do anything if they try hard enough might be popular. Unfortunately it’s not true. A better message is that, yes, you need to practice to be perfect, but if a lot of practice isn’t making you perfect, maybe it’s time to try something new. Ten years is a long time to waste.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The American Genius is news, insights, tools, and inspiration for business owners and professionals. AG condenses information on technology, business, social media, startups, economics and more, so you don’t have to.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Advertisement

KEEP READING!

Opinion Editorials

Quiet quitting is a phrase spreading like wildfire and it is already contentious and misunderstood. Let's discuss.

Business Entrepreneur

(ENTREPRENEUR) You and your business partner(s) are in a close relationship, and just like a marriage, negative emotions may play a role in the...

Business News

(BUSINESS) Having a mentor in business can improve your chances of success, and for some less obvious reasons than you may expect.

Opinion Editorials

(EDITORIAL) America runs on Dunkin'? More like America runs on burn out and caffeine for steam. We all need to get over being busy,...

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.