This blog came out a few weeks ago, but I’ve only just come across it.
I think it may be of interest to people on this forum. Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule is widely cited these days as a rule of thumb/received wisdom about how long it takes to master a skill. This article, penned by one of the authors of a study that was used by Gladwell (Violinists at the Berlin music academy) instead points to the crucial importance of deliberate rather than ‘generic’ practice, and highlights the problems with the way that the 10,000 hours has been interpreted by many, who take it (Wrongly) to mean that anyone can become an expert in a field with this amount of practice. As the author of this blog says - mastery in any field definitely takes hard work over many years, but it is not helpful to reduce this to a number of hours, be that 10,000, many more, or many less.
The other interesting thing in this blog is that memory experts are used as one of the examples…the example in the blog suggests that a figure of less than 10,000 hours is likely to be needed to become a top digit memoriser, although they are not basing this on anything like the scores achieved by, say, the top 100 memorisers, on the current memory rankings. Instead, the example they cite (which I hadn’t come across before) is from an early memory study of Steve Faloon, in the US, who with a system, could remember 80 digits, in the 1970s (news story on this is here).
all the best