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The answer is more involved than it seems. Expertise research programmes, including Ericsson's line, has tended to blend quantitative and qualitative research methods (e.g., case studies, talk-aloud protocol, etc.), and there is a veritable host of critiques and qualifications that apply. For the scope of this answer, I will therefore try to err on the side ...


Karl Ericsson, on whose work Malcolm Gladwell based much of his popular Outliers, has expressed on a number of occasions that the optimal amount of practice time a day is around 3-5 hours, depending on domain. There is a great deal of research in the expertise literature, but Ericsson, Krampe, Tesch-Römer (1993) is a seminal (if not uncontroversial) paper ...

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