Facts are stubborn things

Space limitations do not allow me to fully address Ericsson’s comments. Instead, I limit mydiscussion to five of the most salient issues upon which there are significant differences in theevaluation of the existing theory, methodological issues, and data. These relate to Ericsson’suse of the construct “innate talent;” his misapplication of Ackerman’s (1987, 1988) theoryof individual differences during skill acquisition; inadequate attention to selection of testsand consideration of Brunswik Symmetry; oversights and misinterpretations in evaluatingthe results from Masunaga and Horn (2001); and differences in interpretations of several otherstudies. In the final analysis, although there has not been a definitive longitudinal study ofdeliberate practicewith randomselection/assignment and a control group, there is ample evidencefromover 100 years of research supporting the conclusion that abilities are significantly related toindividual differences in the attainment of expert performance.






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