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PSYC 330 Lecture Notes - Panic Zone, Wayne Gretzky, Sidney Crosby

Course Code
PSYC 330
Richard Wright

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We're all really good typist. But back in the day, there wasn't internet (@___@), people weren't as
good at typing (b/c computers… were not as… amazing)
e.g., being a short basketball player would put you at a disadvantage
Athletics is good for looking at people who are so well practiced that their performance is highly
Still, people believe in inborn/innate talent among world class athletes that makes them special
He popularized this idea
Believed high-level performance was gained through hard work
Looking at judges, academic (limited sample, yo) many were related to each other
There may be hereditary base to talent (he was Darwin's cousin, after all)
Galton -- intelligence and skills are inherited
Also band of 5 5y/o guitarist -- they're so TINY but GOOD
People watch these and think this supports how talent is inborn
11 y/o guitarist (James Bell) -- this kid is AMAZING
e.g., world class performer, athletes, scientists
Usually before 10 y/o
Key to success in any endeavour: start young and practice incessantly
But do child prodigies have "natural" ability?
Became one of the greater classical music composer
Mozart's father was also a musician, who wrote a book about how to teach children music
Pretty much by age 6, Mozart had ~3,500hrs of practice
Earlier compositions were questioned (imitative, father's contribution?)
His acknowledged works started at 21y/o, by then he had way more than 10,000hrs of
Mozart -- started piano when he was 3 y/o, composed when he was 6 y/o
Father started teaching him golf when he was still an infant (watch father play golf golfing
when he was 2 y/o)
By 3 y/o, he played 9 holes in a pretty hard course, and broke 100 (surpassed adults)
Won a prestigious golf tournament when he was only 21 y/o
Tiger Woods -- probably the best golf player who ever lived
More like: compressed practice into this short period of time (rather than natural talent)
Hungary man believe education should be modified b/c geniuses can be created
Train babies at birth to be good at something
Chess good for measuring improvement & to show F as good as M
the 3 Polgar sisters -- were home schooled and taught chess
All 3 went on to be grandmasters in chess
Practiced 6-7 hours a day starting at 5 y/o
Creating chess masters
Williams sisters (Serena, Venus) -- father saw that tennis champions win a lot of money
Two of the best female tennis players in the world
Creating tennis champions
Is high level performance due to inborn ability? I.
Practice and Expert Performance
8:30 AM
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Two of the best female tennis players in the world
Started at 2 y/o (practiced 8hrs/day, enjoyed it)
@10y/o, 370 goals in 1 season
Went on to set scoring records (still holding them even now)
Wayne Gretzky
Creating hockey champion
Others include: Sidney Crosby, Steve Nash
All of them went on to be very famous in Europe as talented musicians, singers, etc.
People came from all over to watch their concerts
They mastered music through intense practice, not innate ability
Shinichi Suzuki: "Musical ability is not an inborn talent but an ability" after lots of practice
Antonio Vivaldi -- musical training for orphaned children from many different families
Aristotle: "Excellence is not an act, but a habit."
10,000 to master a skill
Hard to find world class performers who lacked a lot of practice (as much as 50,000 hrs)
10 year? 10,000 hours? (Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell)
Performance plateaus ~20 y/o
Career peaks ~30 y/o
Increase in expert performance with age
It's not guitar hero, YO
Don't believe those shortcuts ("learn to play in 24hrs")
Learning/mastering a musical instrument takes a lot of time and great effort
He carried his guitar wherever he went.
Said he packed in 20 years of practice in 5 years
Jimi Hendrix's nickname was Marbles
# estimated accumulated practice age of musician
# estimated accumulated practice increasing expertise
Amount of solitary practice and age
Most people don't appreciate how long/hard world-class performers work to acquire their
If they did, they might rethink their belief in innate talent
Iceberg illusion: see children who are very talented and believe they have innate talent, so you're
not seeing all the work that went into the performance
"if people knew how hard I worked to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful"
They had a master-apprentice, taking on 3 y/o for apprentices to mix paint/such
In Florence, lots of sculptors and painters, one of which was Michelangelo
How much practice makes perfect?II.
e.g., doing scales on the piano for an hour
Practicing your weakness, not strengths
Instead of doing something you're good at, do something you suck and feel bad about
yourself afterwards
Deliberate practice is not inherently enjoyable
A mindset that accepts failure
ex. learning how to do jumps in figure skating, failing means falling ON YOUR BUTT; you
won't learn it on your first try
To get good, it helps to be willing and even enthusiastic about being bad
Effective practice "stretches" our abilities
What kind of practice makes perfect? III.
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