Scandinavian psychologists identify five key characteristics required to become an expert in any given field.
Becoming an expert in any field takes time and dedication, and many people think they have a good amount of knowledge to be deemed as an expert. But Scandanavian psychologists have identified 5 key characteristics that need to be visible to become an expert in any given field.
“It seems that certain factors need to be present to become an expert within any given field,” says Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson at NTNU’s Department of Psychology.
These decisive factors are:
- Focused training
- A positive mindset
The journal New Ideas in Psychology has just published an article that presents a theoretical model and a new scale that assesses passion in relation to a skill.
“A key concept in this context is to find an area that you’re interested in. That’s how we can light the spark,” says Sigmundsson.
The commonly accepted refrain is that 10 000 hours of practice are necessary to become really good at something. Although the number of hours offers little more than a hint, there is no doubt that a lot of practice and focus are essential to get really good. In other words, you have to practice exactly what you want to excel in.
So who is inclined to devote this much time to an activity? What makes a person willing to put so much effort into being the best at bending free-kicks like a banana, or giving that extra little push on the run-up to the 50K race, or solving complicated equations or writing a novel?
“You need something more. You need a passion for what you’re doing. You have to burn for it,” says Sigmundsson.
But grit, the perseverance and motivation to keep at an activity over time, is also key.
“In addition, you need a positive mindset, an attitude of ‘I can achieve this,'” Sigmundsson says.
And it’s unlikely that you can manage the journey alone. You most likely need a mentor – someone who can show you the way and who supports you. This should be someone with the right knowledge base to stand by you for the long time required to become proficient.
Passion for an area or a topic or skill is thus a key factor in achieving one’s goals.
“Passion sets the direction of your arrow, but grit determines the strength and size of the arrow,” says Sigmundsson.
Men generally find the strongest connection between passion and grit. They spend a lot of energy on what they’re passionate about. For women, the strongest connection seems to be between grit and a positive mindset.
The study included 126 participants and forms the basis for the article. This article is also linked to other articles and a book that has recently been written on the criteria for success. The research at NTNU on learning and skills development has been going on for almost 30 years.
Several researchers have been working on the Norwegian book Ekspertise. Utvikling av kunnskap og ferdigheter [Expertise. Development of knowledge and skills] during the past four to five years. In their research, they studied what factors enabled selected individuals to excel in their fields. These characters include H. C. Andersen, Charles Darwin and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, among others.
In the book, Magnus Carlsen’s father, Henrik Albert Carlsen, describes his son’s path to becoming the world’s best chess player. Vidar Halldorsson writes about the Icelanders and their success in sports such as handball.
Anders Ericsson writes about those prerequisite 10 000 hours of training and that experts are always “made, not born.”
Source: The Passion Scale: Aspects of reliability and validity of a new 8-item scale assessing passion. H. Sigmundsson, M. Haga, F. Hermundsdottir.
more recommended stories
Adolescents’ well-being and learning during COVID-19 linked to psychological needs
Multi-country analysis highlights importance of experiencing.
Nature draws out a happy place for children
New study explores children's perception of.
A gender gap in negotiation emerges between boys and girls as early as age eight
Understood to persist between men and.
Fellow students improve grades
Peers personalities can influence your own.
A window into adolescence
Researchers study biological roots for adolescent.
How students learn from their mistakes
Researchers at University of Southern.
Schooling is critical for cognitive health throughout life
Quality schooling matters cognitively for later.
To improve students’ mental health, teach them to breathe
Resiliency training programs could be a.
Jobs for the boys: How children give voice to gender-stereotyped job roles
Children, and especially boys, show stronger.
Playtime with dad may improve children’s self-control
Children whose fathers make time to.