Is it a perennial question: are we born with advantages that allow us to become experts or geniuses in particular areas, is it all up to the training we receive, or is it a combination of both?
A July 2016 magazine article in Time examines this question, prompted by the publication of the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Poole. While Ericsson was responsible for previous research with musicians that may have demonstrated that high numbers of practice hours were responsible for higher performance ability (what Malcolm Gladwell then termed the “10,000-hour rule”), Howard Gardner and Ellen Winner have been critical of these findings. The article references Gardner’s view that the research ignored previous work on skill acquisition and Winner’s point that improvements seen from hard work cannot rule out the role of innate ability.
In support of these critiques and the existence of natural talent, subsequent studies have shown that people may require different amounts of practice in order to reach the same level of skill.
Click here to read more about this nature-vs.-nuture debate via Time.