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Lecture 7

Lecture 7: Motivation.docx

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McGill University
PSYC 471
Richard Koestner

Sept 27 Research on the aquisition of expert performance: How did Tiger Woods become the best golfer in the world? - How we set goals and how we develop expertise: two big questions in the first half of the course, wherein we discuss how we motivate ourselves. - one question is if you have the ability to be an expert, but whether you are motivated to do this is also a very important factor - most of us were told that we excelled at something, however even though we were identified as being good at something, we hit a plateau and levelled out. there are also areas where we don't do as well as we expected in general (we conclude we were lacking in some sort of talent.) - it's not strictly true that everything is talent-based. - consider the role of ability vs. effort in achieving ones goals. there's an importance of "deliberate practice" or "deep practice" - this seems to be a key. - average start age was 8, avereage hours of practice was 8 hours. 52% excel at sports. slightly more success is attributed to training and practice. - Ericsson doesn't think that natural talent has much to do with it - what is "expert performance?" > consistently superior performance on a specified set of representative tasks for the domain that can be administered to any subject. - a lot of people felt that you couldn't understand the psychology behind expertise unless you were an expert yourself, but he felt that was wrong. - there are whole fields where people call themselves "experts" but they really aren't according to the studies: eg wine connaisseurs and investment advisors. - there's just certain disciplines where it is really hard to find evidence that you can even be an expert. (like psychotherapy as well: 30 years of experience doesn't necessarily translate into success) - when they tell you they are experts, you have to make sure you can measure it. - if you're a runner, you can easily be judged as whether you're an expert because people know what the standard is. - golf is really set up well because there is a par in golf, and every golf course is rated on level of difficulty, so you can judge things across the board comparatively - Tiger Woods is an incredible golfer. he's had this goal of achieving championship titles since he was a kid - he hit a bad shot, and then he overcame it by making an incredible one - he has made many incredible career-defining shots. - he has incredible statistics: two standard deviations away from the rest in terms of his sucess. - it's posited that he is the best athlete in the world because of how much he outshines the competition. he has made incredible amounts of money. - he's not normal because he's so graceful and looks so natural. many of us would guess that he was just naturally gifted, (this is the traditional view). - the most common explanation for talent is that it's "a gift from God" - another is that it's genetic giftedness. there are many activities where thousands of kids put in a lot of effort and time and money and everything, but there is only a handful that make it to the big leagues. - most of us guess that what separates those kids from the rest is some kind of innate capacity. I mean, it is necessary to train hard and have good coaching, but is this the whole story? - what role do talent and motivation play? - Gardner's theory of multiple intelligences: linguistic-verbal, logical-mathmatical, spatial, musical, bodily kinaesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal. - an intelligence is "a biophysiological potential to process information in certain ways in order to solve problems or fashion products that are valued in a culture or a community. - "intelligence" is not "talent": for each kind of intelligence, there is a link to a specific brain region. - rather than there simply being a 'g' factor, it's as if there are 7 kinds of computers, each of which excels at a different function. - interpersonal (understanding other people and how to work with other people) and intrapersonal (understanding yourself and using yourself as a model in order to work effectively with others) should be most related to psychology. - naturalistic intelligence was added in (the ability to sense changes in nature) and existential intelligence (but he's not convinced yet that this /is/ distinct) - he makes the point that IQ tests only asses linguistic-verbal and logical-mathematical intelligences. it is also possible that schools have only focused on these first two types - there's been very little training and focus on inter- and intrapersonal. - he has a provocative view that is common among parents. if education is doing it right, it should be guiding the child towards a field where she will be successful. we should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them to identify their natural competancies and gifts and cultivate those. we should not think of intelligence as narrowly as we do. - this is p
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