Remember that kid that was a complete prodigy at the violin or that one that seemed to be able to answer every math problem even before it was asked? Or how about the kid that could recite the digits of pi to no end?
Many would believe that these people had some kind of innate ability to do what they could do really well. But psychological studies show that in fact, to a large extent, “experts are made, not born.” According to the “10 year rule,” it takes at a decade of hard labor to master a particular field. This is not in conflict with the existence of child prodigies, though, such as Mozart or Bobby Fischer, who could have done so by starting earlier and working harder.
Yet clearly, the assumption that people are born with these abilities means that those who work hard get rewarded, and those that don’t often get discouraged from doing so in the first place. So while some may be prone to certain skills and abilities over others, it looks like sometimes the answer to prodigy-level ability is just good ol’ hard work.
Oh, and Seed Magazine rocks my world. Science + Culture = Complete Phenomenon.