Must read article in SciAm answers a question often asked on ET: Born or Made?

Discussion in 'Educational Resources' started by nitro, Jul 27, 2006.

  1. nitro


  2. I've been suspecting the failing of my trading system, which is based on my effortful study, must be caused by those Maker Makers' great efforts! :D


    The preponderance of psychological evidence indicates that experts are made, not born. What is more, the demonstrated ability to turn a child quickly into an expert--in chess, music and a host of other subjects--sets a clear challenge before the schools. Can educators find ways to encourage students to engage in the kind of effortful study that will improve their reading and math skills? Roland G. Fryer, Jr., an economist at Harvard University, has experimented with offering monetary rewards to motivate students in underperforming schools in New York City and Dallas. In one ongoing program in New York, for example, teachers test the students every three weeks and award small amounts--on the order of $10 or $20--to those who score well. The early results have been promising. Instead of perpetually pondering the question, "Why can't Johnny read?" perhaps educators should ask, "Why should there be anything in the world he can't learn to do?"

  3. Aaron


    Excellent article. Thanks, Nitro.
  4. Inate ability is much more inportant in music and golf.
  5. nitro



  6. KK70


    On a related note, I found "Overachievement: The New Model for Exceptional Performance" by John Eliot to be a very interesting book.
  7. Thanks Nitro and KK for pointing out some interesting articles!

    Great contributions!
  8. nitro


  9. Maverick74



    I have not read the article you posted but I have a problem with making the leap from what they are proposing to trading. IMO, trading is not about effortful study, or having mathematical abilities or even good hand eye coordination, but rather I believe the number one deterrent for most people is they lack the emotional capacity to make decisions that have a monetary outcome. I truly believe this.

    There have been countless academic studies by all the Ivy league schools particularly pertaining to gambling and simple investing. Most people, no matter how smart they are or how hard they work, simply are not cut out emotionally for this job. I see it first hand here on ET. I've seen it first hand when I traded on a floor with 200 traders around me.

    I would make this analogy. Take Tiger Woods or former great Joe Montana. It's not just their ability or effort that made them good, it was how cool they were under pressure. How many guys here could sink a put on the 18th hole with 5 million dollars riding on it? How many guys here could hit a wide receiver in the end zone with an all out blitz in their face with 5 seconds on the clock and throwing the ball into double coverage? Well, none of us could. But Joe Montana did it, and he it on a regular basis.

    Nitro, I am certain I could show you how to throw a tight spiral or how to hit a awesome cross court forehand in tennis. But under pressure, with the game or match on the line, at a professional level? No way man, no way.

    Al Pacino had a great line in the movie "The Devil's Advocate". He was talking about pressure, how pressure changes everything. How anyone could be good at something, but how few people could really perform under pressure. His quote was "can you deliver on a deadline? Could you summon your talent at will?"

    That is what it boils down to. Can you perform under pressure? No amount of work will give you that. Very few people have that skill, very few. Hence the failure rate in trading.
  10. nitro


    Maverick everything you said flys in the face of many stories I have read of very successful traders. I can't even count how many of them said that emotional control under severe stress was something they had to learn through repeated attempts and gaining experience. In some cases, it took many tries, e.g., Livermore. Ask Bob Bright how many times he blew out before he got it.

    I agree that these articles makes it seem as if anyone can become Roger Federer or Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and that just seems plain bogus to me too. But people waaaaaaaaaay overestimate the talent part of the nature vs nurture debate.

    FWIW, I have learned emotional control as I have progressed as a trader. I think I learned this behavior and it is not natural to me.

    #10     Sep 16, 2006