On 2011-03-21 13:41, Enda Dunican wrote:

I have been reading this discussion with interest. Marian's message provoked 
further thought. In recent months (as part of my involvement in sports 
coaching), I have read a number of books that put forward the idea that rather 
than being the cause of something, talent/ability is actually the product of 
something, namely deep/purposeful/deliberate practice. When we see an 
individual who appears to have a natural talent or aptitude for something e.g. 
music, programming, sport we only see the tip of the iceberg and only when we 
study the individual more closely do we find out the true reasons behind their 
'talent'. These books use the stories of great sports stars (Tiger Woods, Jack 
Nicklaus), compsers (Mozart) and authors (Bronte sisters) to illustrate their 
assertion.


Just to throw in another reference, for a good overview of these topics
I recommend Ericsson, Charness, Feltovich, and Hoffman (eds), "The
Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance", Cambridge
University Press, 2006. Especially chapter 38.

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