Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Howe et al.: Innate talents

Historical increases in expert performance suggest large possibilities for improvement of performance without implicating innate capacities

Andreas C. Lehmann a1
a1 Department of Psychology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306


Innate talents supposedly limit an individual's highest attainable level of performance and the rate of skill acquisition. However, Howe et al. have not reviewed evidence that the level of expert performance has increased dramatically over the last few centuries. Those increases demonstrate that the highest levels of performance may be less constrained by innate capacities than is commonly believed.