The 4 things it takes to be an expert

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Which experts have real expertise? This video is sponsored by Brilliant. The first 200 people to sign up via get 20% off a yearly subscription.

Thanks to and Chessable for the clip of Magnus.

Chase, W. G., & Simon, H. A. (1973). Perception in chess. Cognitive psychology, 4(1), 55-81. -

Calderwood, R., Klein, G. A., & Crandall, B. W. (1988). Time pressure, skill, and move quality in chess. The American Journal of Psychology, 481-493. -

Hogarth, R. M., Lejarraga, T., & Soyer, E. (2015). The two settings of kind and wicked learning environments. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 24(5), 379-385. -

Ægisdóttir, S., White, M. J., Spengler, P. M., Maugherman, A. S., Anderson, L. A., Cook, R. S., ... & Rush, J. D. (2006). The meta-analysis of clinical judgment project: Fifty-six years of accumulated research on clinical versus statistical prediction. The Counseling Psychologist, 34(3), 341-382. -

Ericsson, K. A. (2015). Acquisition and maintenance of medical expertise: a perspective from the expert-performance approach with deliberate practice. Academic Medicine, 90(11), 1471-1486. -

Goldberg, S. B., Rousmaniere, T., Miller, S. D., Whipple, J., Nielsen, S. L., Hoyt, W. T., & Wampold, B. E. (2016). Do psychotherapists improve with time and experience? A longitudinal analysis of outcomes in a clinical setting. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 63(1), 1. -

Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363. -

Egan, D. E., & Schwartz, B. J. (1979). Chunking in recall of symbolic drawings. Memory & Cognition, 7(2), 149-158. -

Tetlock, P. E. (2017). Expert political judgment. In Expert Political Judgment. Princeton University Press. -

Melton, R. S. (1952). A comparison of clinical and actuarial methods of prediction with an assessment of the relative accuracy of different clinicians. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Minnesota.

Meehl, E. P. (1954). Clinical versus Statistical Prediction: A Theoretical Analysis and a Review of the Evidence. University of Minnesota Press. -

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. -

Special thanks to Patreon supporters: RayJ Johnson, Brian Busbee, Jerome Barakos M.D., Amadeo Bee, Julian Lee, Inconcision, TTST, Balkrishna Heroor, Chris LaClair, Avi Yashchin, John H. Austin, Jr.,, Matthew Gonzalez, Eric Sexton, john kiehl, Diffbot, Gnare, Dave Kircher, Burt Humburg, Blake Byers, Dumky, Evgeny Skvortsov, Meekay, Bill Linder, Paul Peijzel, Josh Hibschman, Timothy O’Brien, Mac Malkawi, Michael Schneider, jim buckmaster, Juan Benet, Ruslan Khroma, Robert Blum, Richard Sundvall, Lee Redden, Vincent, Stephen Wilcox, Marinus Kuivenhoven, Michael Krugman, Cy 'kkm' K'Nelson, Sam Lutfi, Ron Neal

Written by Derek Muller and Petr Lebedev
Animation by Ivy Tello and Fabio Albertelli
Filmed by Derek Muller and Raquel Nuno
Additional video/photos supplied by Getty Images
Music from Epidemic Sound ( )
Produced by Derek Muller, Petr Lebedev, and Emily Zhang

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1 Ago 2022



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Comentários 11 758
Wow, this was incredibly insightful!
Sameh Ismail
Sameh Ismail 21 dia atrás
Interesting to think about this in the context of my own field: Computer Science. Especially when writing code, it does illuminate some things for me. I work with a lot of scientist from other fields who mostly write software as a tool for expressing ideas from their respective fields. Most of them have had little to no formal training in writing code before starting to work. What I notice is that these people fairly easy learn how to avoid bugs and write code that executes, but are terrible at preventing structural issues (e.g. does this software scale easily or how easy is it to add new functionality in the future). The timely feedback issue seems crititcal here. When trying to write code that executes, the feedback is almost immediate: The software returns an error on running or it doesn't. The structural problems however aren't evaluated by any immediate system or even at all (especially for people who's main area of expertise is actually not software).
"Don't get comfortable" is a lesson I'd like to drive home by this statistic: some 70-90% of accidental finger amputations happen at 2 ages, 16 and 60. All the time in between those ages is marked by remarkably safe individuals who go their entire career without a single incident. Before and after those ages is when nearly every finger is removed via
I think without love and obsession for what you do, those steps can feel unbearable. If you love what you do deeply and are obsessed with it... being uncomfortable is not even that bad. It's like Kobe Bryant tearing his achilles, shooting free throws and walking off the court.. He said that when the game is the most important, you don't even feel the pain. I'm sure he's been in pain and uncomfortable a whole lot in his career but he LOVED the game of basketball too much to even care about the discomfort. He was obsessed.
The pattern recognition became very clear to me when I learned Morse code. The human brain takes 50 milliseconds to process and understand a sound. People regularly send and receive Morse code at 30 words per minute, which puts the dit character and the gap between all characters at 40 milliseconds. So you literally have to process sounds faster than the brain can recognize them. Over time you start to hear whole words in the code rather than individual letters, but you still have to decode call signs character by character. You basically cache the sounds in your brain without processing them, and once the whole set of characters passes, your brain is able to turn it into an idea and add it to the stack of previous ideas while your ears are already caching the next set of characters.
The beginning section of this where you cover the chess players and discuss chunking reminds me a lot of what I tell people about typing and typists. Those who can type the fastest, don't think in letters when they type, they think in words there fingers just know where to go. Where as slower typers tend to type based on each letter, and have to work their thought process through each letter, then the corresponding key on the keyboard. Just figured I'd drop another analogy or method of describing it for others.
Alve Svarén
As a software developer, I really feel that I get better at solving problems using my intuition, and all the 4 concepts you listed in this video matches my experience perfectly.
The preselection example reminds me of something I went through in high school, our education system is divided in 4 steps (there is more but the rest is irrelevant here)
Amarotha 4 horas atrás
I studied and played chess for almost 7 years. Also, I already knew what chunking is. It was in our lesson in Cognitive Psychology. But I didn't realized that the reason behind chess players' memory and rapid evaluation were because of chunking. That experiment was really enlightening. Btw, the first position in the experiment was not really that hard since it is pretty common position. But the second one was like, man, I couldn't understand what was happening. It takes time to evaluate it.
ONAR Occasionally Needs A Restart
I recently had a MASSIVE argument with my university because they repeatedly did not provide any feedback to essays or exams. Just a mark and that's it. I backed my perspective with a ton of academic works on education, that I doubt any of them ever read.
Tre Brinig
Tre Brinig 4 horas atrás
this is probably one of the most eye opening videos i have ever watched, cus as a kid i stumbled upon this but i never put it into an actual idea like this, it’s brilliant and i’m probably gonna implement it into my daily life as much as possible
James Crook
I've been a programmer now for 3 years. The first two years were difficult. At the start of the third year I fealt like an utterly terrable engineer.
Thorgeirn Stormcaller
Thorgeirn Stormcaller 21 dia atrás
This is pretty coincidental to me right now. I’ve been considering how many flight hours I need to be considered an expert helicopter pilot. As of late, many commercial pilots have been coming through training an considered mediocre. Because of this I have been making it a point to be doing more maneuvers that push my skill and get me to recognize more situations “on the fly”.
The Four Things are:
Eran Malloch
Great video Derek. As always! I was reminded when you talked about system 1 & system 2 of something I learned decades ago in sales, although this applies to pretty well any endeavour you choose to learn & master. Long version short: there are 4 different components to how to learn. There is competence level (incompetent or competent) and conscious level (conscious or unconscious). As you started learning a new skill, you were considered unconscious incompetent - you didn't know what you needed to know & were unaware of that combined with being largely incompetent at it. As you got better, you moved up to conscious incompetent (where you now understand that you didn't know what to do and you were still incompetent at doing it). Then you could move up another level to concious competent (at this point, you're good at something BUT you have to still focus hard to do the task) and then finally, the ultimate level is unconscious competent (which is where you are so good AND practiced at the task you don't need to think and devote all your brain power to do it AND you're also competent at it). The goal in sales training was to become so good at it that it was an unconscious/effortless skill that you were successful at.
With farming, I can agree with this video on just about everything. Being a mechanic, I will overlook the obvious or the rare cases when diagnosing sometimes, driving, I can overlook the very simple or very rare cases, just about any task. Keep trying new things and trying the same thing a different way and that helps a lot.
Teh Yong Lip
Teh Yong Lip 14 dias atrás
I really love the way you compare and contrast the nature of professions from various fields, it's extremely helpful!
Eric Singley
Eric Singley 10 horas atrás
I work as an economist, and in defense of the "expertise" within my discipline, I will say that what is missing from this video is the acknowledgement of uncertainty. Meaning, these future predictions being spoken about that were (on average) "wrong" were either binary, or point-estimates. Any economist worth their salt will always build reasonable uncertainty into their estimates. Both uncertainty around their own knowledge, and uncertainty around the natural variability in the world. Complex policy decisions aren't risk-informed without it. The breakdowns I usually see are (1) the ability of decision-makers to correctly process this uncertainty when making decisions, (2) our ability to communicate the uncertainty in a way that it can be processed correctly, or (3) simply that the science isn't a motivating factor when making the decision.
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