As recounted in Professor Ericsson’s ebook “Peak” (2016), the scholar might recall in extra of 80 digits by the tip of the summer time, excess of what was then believed a typical individual might memorize.
At Florida State College, the place he went in 1992 and remained till his loss of life, Professor Ericsson would ask college students to decide on a brand new ability, like juggling, and to follow it throughout the semester, to show that they might do one thing beforehand thought unlearnable.
As his analysis turned extra broadly revered, Professor Ericsson was employed to seek the advice of with skilled sports activities groups just like the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Twins and England’s Manchester Metropolis soccer membership, and to talk to organizations like Google and the Central Intelligence Company — every on the lookout for a efficiency edge he would possibly supply.
He had his critics. One in all them, Zachary Hambrick, a professor of psychology at Michigan State College, co-authored a paper in 2014 that concluded that deliberate follow was not the only cause for peak efficiency in chess gamers and musicians. Innate traits like expertise and intelligence, Professor Hambrick argued, play a much more important position than Professor Ericsson allowed for.
“There’s a aspect of me that resonates along with his hopeful message,” stated Scott Barry Kaufman, a humanistic psychologist who research creativity and hosts “The Psychology Podcast.” “Nonetheless, there’s one other aspect of me that has seen the analysis in a variety of points on the sector, that means that we are able to have some fairly extreme limits on what we are able to obtain in life.”
However, Mr. Kaufman added, “I don’t assume any of this invalidates his contributions. He confirmed that people have the capability to transcend, from one technology to the following, what had been considered the boundaries of human potential.”
Along with his spouse, Professor Ericsson is survived by two youngsters from a earlier marriage, Jens and Lina Ericsson; a brother, Lasse Ericsson; a sister, Kerstin Loden; and a grandson.