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Get to know the research team.
What do we do?

We study the origins of skill in domains such as music, science, chess, and sports.

Welcome to the Expertise Lab at Michigan State University.

The Research Team

Fredrik Ullén

Collaborator
Karolinska Institute


Lauren Julius Harris

Collaborator
Michigan State University


Alexander Burgoyne

Graduate Assistant
Michigan State University


Zach Hambrick

Laboratory Director
Michigan State University


Erik Altmann

Collaborator
Michigan State University


Miriam Mosing

Collaborator
Karolinska Institute



Elliot Tucker-Drob

Collaborator
The University of Texas at Austin



David Moreau

Collaborator
University of Lille, France


Elizabeth Meinz

Collaborator
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


Guillermo Campitelli

Collaborator
Edith Cowan University


Brooke Macnamara

Collaborator
Case Western Reserve University


Fred Oswald

Collaborator
Rice University


Fernand Gobet

Collaborator
University of Liverpool


Giovanni Sala

Collaborator
University of Liverpool

Select Publications

Hambrick et al. (2014)

Deliberate Practice: is that all it takes to become an Expert?
Intelligence.

Hambrick et al. (2014)

Accounting for Expert Performance: The Devil is in the Details
Intelligence.

Macnamara et al. (2016)

The Relationship Between Deliberate Practice and Performance in Sports: A Meta-Analysis
Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Burgoyne et al. (2016)

The Relationship between Cognitive Ability and Chess Skill: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis
Intelligence.

Macnamara et al. (2014)

Deliberate Practice and Performance in Music, Games, Sports, Education, and Professions: A Meta-Analysis
Psychological Science.

Macnamara et al. (2016)

How Important is Deliberate Practice? Reply to Ericsson (2016)
Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Ullen et al. (2015)

Rethinking Expertise: A Multifactorial Gene–Environment Interaction Model of Expert Performance
Psychological Bulletin.

Hambrick et al. (2014)

The Genetics of Music Accomplishment: Evidence for Gene–Environment Correlation and Interaction
Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

Hambrick et al. (2014)

Beyond Born Versus Made: A New Look at Expertise
Psychology of Learning and Motivation.

Hambrick et al. (2014)

Facing Facts about Deliberate Practice
Frontiers in Psychology.

Hambrick & Meinz (2011)

Limits on the Predictive Power of Domain-Specific Experience and Knowledge in Skilled Performance
Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Meinz & Hambrick (2010)

Deliberate Practice Is Necessary but Not Sufficient to Explain Individual Differences in Piano Sight-Reading Skill: The Role of Working Memory Capacity
Psychological Science.

Hambrick et al. (2012)

A Test of the Circumvention-of-Limits Hypothesis in Scientific Problem Solving: The Case of Geological Bedrock Mapping
Journal of Experimental Psychology.

In The News
Scientific American Zach Hambrick Fredrick Ullen Miriam Mosing
September 20, 2016

Is Innate Talent a Myth?

It’s appealing to think that “all it takes is a lot of practice,” but the factors behind elite performance are more complicated than that.

New York Times Zach Hambrick Expertise Alex Burgoyne
November 19, 2011

Sorry, Strivers; Talent Matters

How do people acquire high levels of skill in science, business, music, the arts and sports? This has long been a topic of intense debate in psychology.

Huffington Post Zach Hambrick Expertise
March 13, 2012

Are Experts Born or Made?

Why do some people learn complex skills with apparent ease, and ultimately reach expert levels of performance, while others struggle...

Psychology Today Zach Hambrick Expertise
September 4, 2014

The Right Stuff

Many researchers believe the focus on practice—as essential as it is—has overshadowed other key factors behind expertise and performance.


May 16, 2016

The Origins of Exceptional Performance in the Arts

A talk by Zach Hambrick at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm Sweden, on the multivariate perspective on expertise.


September 28, 2016

Practice Doesn't Make Perfect

“One of the criticisms people direct at us is that we’re killing people’s dreams,” Hambrick says. “But I think in fact it’s the contrary: the more we can know about the origins of expertise, including training but everything else, the more we can help people be their best selves.”
Article by Maria Konnikova
Illustration by Wren McDonald


Science of expertise behavioral neural and genetic approaches to complex skill zach hambrick guillermo campitelli brooke macnamaraExpertise is a puzzle with many pieces, and The Science of Expertise will bring together a collection of chapters by internationally-recognized scholars that will provide up-to-date reviews on what some of these pieces might be and how they fit together to explain high-level skill in complex domains. Click to Learn More
October 13, 2016

Bob Dylan - Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2016

"for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition"
Illustration by N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016


October 7, 2013

Mastersinger: How Joyce DiDonato, of Prairie Village, Kansas, conquered opera.

"There is a warmth in the voice that can intensify into fire.”
Article by Alex Ross
Photograph by Pari Dukovic

Download Presentation

More Presentations Coming Soon!

Download Presentation

The Origins of Exceptional Performance in the Arts

by Zach Hambrick, PhD
Brain and Culture Symposium
Karolinska Institutet, May 16th, 2016

Download Presentation

How Important is Deliberate Practice for Chess?

by Zach Hambrick, PhD
APS Conference
Chicago, May 29th, 2016