THE POWER LAW OF PERFORMANCE

The Power Law of Performance or of Practice (PLP) states that the time (T) it takes an individual to perform a given task decreases as the number of times (N) the individual practiced the task increases. In mathematical terminology, the law is:

A, B, E, and p are constants that vary (a) with the task at hand and with the individual performing the task. A represents a physiological limit. B and E partly denote prior experiences before the beginning of the practice sessions, and p is the learning rate.

In other words, the law states that "practice renders perfect." This law applies to the performance of sensory-motor (or athletic), creative (or artistic), and cognitive (or intellectual ) tasks.

The shorter the time T to perform the task- completely and correctly - the higher the level of proficiency. Hence, as the number of practices increases, so does the proficiency of the individual.

The dramatic impact of this law becomes apparent when one considers its application over several tasks and several days, months, and years. Then it becomes clear that genius is mostly the result of sustained practice.

The same is true for the Olympic, NBA, and NFL champions. It is equally true for the stars in music, painting, dancing, or sculpting.

THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT IT IS EQUALLY TRUE FOR INTELLECTUAL ENDEAVORS FROM K THRU GRADUATE SCHOOL AND BEYOND!

Further, this law is implacable. It applies whether one likes it or not!

Please refer to Education, Vol. 115, No. 1, pp. 31-39 for the explanation of the creation of educational value added, using the power law of performance.

In what follows, please note well that the thinking skills that are engaged by teaching, graded homework, exams, and learning sessions -- will be developed. Cognitive Condensation adds a quality factor to the practice!


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