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Lecture 8

Lecture 8: Motivation

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PSYC 471
Richard Koestner

Sept 29 The relevance of research on expertise to everyday life: why do we sometimes fail to keep developing our expertise despite the fact that we remain involved in the domain - why don't people get better? - don't trust autobiography - you can only do a certain number of hours of practice a day: there's an upper limit of 5-6 hours. so how can you excel at two sports at the same time? a lot of the practice applies to both sports - this theory is relevant in many ways beyond what Ericsson even suggested - deliberate practice: what is this? - why does it sometimes happen that we reach a plateau in something at which we excel? - basketball peak and plateau: the coach made them do drills. in sophomore year, there was a less innovative coach, and so he didn't keep progressing - many of us think that we're actively involved and maybe maxing out on what we can do, but really we might just be playing and not training ourselves to improve our skills. - when we're just playing, this doesn't develop our skills - the opportunities for improvement during competition or paid performances, we're trying to reproduce a quality performance, not experiment and develop our skills - the actual opportunities are then limited - fourth type of experience: observation - there's no immediate social or emotional reward behind deliberate practice - Ericsson would argue that the goals are different, the costs are different (deliberate practice really depletes you: you can only do about 4 hours a day), the rewards are different and most of us don't do deliberate practice unless we have to. - you watch video tapes of yourself and other performers: observational learning is a form of other practice - surveys of leisure times indicate that we don't do a lot of deliberate practice. this is also true in terms of work. - we assume that we improve our skills implicitly without focussing on it, but this isn't true - there's no evidence that years of experience makes you better at what you do - accountants, therapists and medical doctors (after they're out of school for two years, anyways - not immediate graduates) - there are continuing education requirements for health professionals because you have to keep aware of changing things in the profession - the best thing to do if you want to improve your skills as a therapist? tape your sessions with a client, transcribe it and then sit down with your supervisor and go through the session - video of deliberate practice: excerpt from Hoosiers - doing very effortful drills that bearks complex skills down into more simple things that you do repetitively - "my practices are not designed for your enjoyment" - people who dedicate themselves to deliberate practice are the ones who will become the most expert, unless they go beyond the limits of how much deliberate practice you can do - if you do more than 4 hours a day, you're likely to have overtraining injuries and experience psychological burnout - it's so important because everyone wants to know how to promote learning. the following four things are associated with learning, and they are characteristic of deliberate practice. 1) goal to attend to the task and improve performance: something specific to focus on 2) explicit instructions about the best methods of improvement: a coach who gives you good feedback 3) immediate feedback on one's performance: having a coach tell you what you're doing wrong before you get in the habit of making a mistake 4) repeatedly perform the same or similar tasks: keep doing things over and over - people hate repetition, but it is esse
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