Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology, Florida State University and Author
Peak: The New Science of Expertise
For more than thirty years, K. Anders Ericsson, Ph.D., a Conradi Eminent Scholar and professor of psychology at Florida State University, has studied the people who stand who stand out as specialists in their fields. Over time he’s come understand that we are all capable of extraordinary feats. In his new book Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise, Dr. Ericsson and his co-author, science writer Robert Pool, offer a new look at the ways we can all step up our game and become experts in our fields.
It’s the classic nature versus nurture debate: do we assume that these peak performers have a gift, that they are lucky? Or do we prefer to think of peak performance as the result of the time we put in? Dr. Ericsson’s decades of research, recently popularized (and somewhat misrepresented) in Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers as the 10,000-hour-rule, shows that while it’s true that anyone can achieve extraordinary results, there is nothing magical about the number of hours you put in. Instead, it’s the method and the quality of the “deliberate practice” that really matters.
Dr. Ericsson has made a career studying chess champions, violin virtuosos, star athletes, and memory mavens. Peak condenses his research to introduce an incredibly powerful approach to learning that is fundamentally different from the way people traditionally think about acquiring a skill. Dr. Ericsson’s approach is about reducing expertise to a discrete series of attainable practices – setting goals, getting feedback, identifying patterns, and motivating yourself.