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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.

Select Publications

Hambrick et al. (2018)

Toward a Multifactorial Model of Expertise: Beyond Born Versus Made
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Sala et al. (2017)

Checking the “Academic Selection” Argument. Chess Players Outperform Non-Chess Players in Cognitive Skills Related to Intelligence: A Meta-Analysis
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. (2016)

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

Hambrick et al. (2016)

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

Ullén et al. (2015)

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

Hambrick & Hoffman (2016)

Expertise: A second look.
IEEE Intelligent Systems.

Hambrick et al. (2014)

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

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. (2014)

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

Hambrick et al. (2014)

Facing Facts about Deliberate Practice
Frontiers in Psychology.

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 & Meinz (2011)

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

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.

Musical Competence is Predicted by Music Training, Cognitive Abilities, and Personality

Swaminathan and Schellenberg (2018)

Individuals differ in musical competence, which we defined as the ability to perceive, remember, and discriminate sequences of tones or beats. We asked whether such differences could be explained by variables other than music training, including socioeconomic status (SES), short-term memory, general cognitive ability, and personality.

Building gifts into musical talents

Dr. Gary McPherson
University of Melbourne

Ormond Professor Gary McPherson is a multi-faceted music professional whose career includes performances as a trumpeter and conductor with various ensembles throughout Australia, three major longitudinal research studies involving musicians in Australia and the United States, and over 30 years as an academic in Universities teaching music education, research techniques, music psychology, performance science, music psychology, and musicianship.


Presentations