[00:03.02]If you were to examine the birth certificates of every soccer player
[00:07.60]in 2006’s World Cup tournament，
[00:10.55]you would most likely find a noteworthy quirk:
[00:13.48]elite soccer players are more likely to have been born
[00:17.05]in the earlier months of the year than in the later months.
[00:19.34]If you then examined the European national youth teams
[00:24.05]that feed the World Cup and professional ranks,
[00:27.21]you would find this strange phenomenon to be even more pronounced.
[00:31.46]What might account for this strange phenomenon? Here are a few guesses:
[00:37.05]a) certain astrological signs confer superior soccer skills;
[00:44.06]b) winter-born babies tend to have higher oxygen capacity,
[00:50.24]which increases soccer stamina;
[00:52.89]c) soccer-mad parents are more likely to conceive children in springtime,
[01:00.41]at the annual peak of soccer mania;
[01:02.99]d) none of the above.
[01:06.93]Anders Ericsson, a 58-year-old psychology professor
[01:12.81]at Florida State University,
[01:15.42]says he believes strongly in “none of the above.”
[01:19.07]Ericsson grew up in Sweden,
[01:21.53]and studied nuclear engineering until he realized
[01:24.97]he would have more opportunity
[01:27.02]to conduct his own research if he switched to psychology.
[01:31.33]His first experiment,
[01:33.22]nearly 30 years ago, involved memory:
[01:37.02]training a person to hear and then repeat a random series of numbers.
[01:41.73]“With the first subject, after about 20 hours of training,
[01:46.31]his digit span had risen from 7 to 20,” Ericsson recalls.
[01:53.26]“He kept improving, and after about 200 hours of training
[01:57.98]he had risen to over 80 numbers.”
[02:01.12]This success, coupled with later research showing that
[02:05.96]memory itself is not genetically determined,
[02:10.00]led Ericsson to conclude that the act of memorizing
[02:14.14]is more of a cognitive exercise than an intuitive one.
[02:19.03]In other words, whatever inborn differences two people may exhibit
[02:23.75]in their abilities to memorize,
[02:25.94]those differences are swamped by how well each person “encodes” the information.
[02:32.14]And the best way to learn how to encode information meaningfully,
[02:36.13]Ericsson determined,was a process known as deliberate practice.
[02:42.12]Deliberate practice entails more than simply repeating a task.
[02:48.42]Rather, it involves setting specific goals,
[02:52.03]obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome.
[02:58.87]Ericsson and his colleagues have thus taken to studying expert performers
[03:04.79]in a wide range of pursuits, including soccer.
[03:09.60]They gather all the data they can,
[03:12.51]not just performance statistics and biographical details
[03:16.70]but also the results of their own laboratory experiments with high achievers.
[03:21.82]Their work makes a rather startling assertion:
[03:25.75]the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated.
[03:31.32]Or, put another way, expert performers—whether in memory or surgery,
[03:37.77]ballet or computer programming—are nearly always made, not born.内容来自 听力课堂网：http://www.tingclass.net/show-8686-251465-1.html