The 10,000-Hour Rule is a Myth

Scott H. Young
Mind Cafe
Published in
6 min readJan 25, 2024

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Few ideas about learning are as well-known as the 10,000-hour rule, popularized by Malcolm Gladwell in his 2008 bestseller, Outliers, where he argued that it takes roughly that long to master a skill.

The basis for Gladwell’s rule was Anders Ericsson’s 1993 paper arguing that large quantities of deliberate practice could explain world-class skill levels. Before that, psychologist John Hayes’s research on elite composers, artists and poets found roughly ten years were necessary to produce master-level works.

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Scott H. Young
Mind Cafe

Author of WSJ best selling book: Ultralearning www.scotthyoung.com | Twitter: @scotthyoung