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A predecessor who teaches directly a person who serves as a student, pupil, apprentice or disciple is called a teacher, master or mentor. Mentoring is a major contributor to success in both sciences and arts. Zuckerman (1977) calculated that the typical age difference between mentor and disciple in science is 19 years (from 16 to 25 years).
Simonton (1994: 382-4) formulated the conditions of beneficial mentoring: 1) prospective pupils should draw upon many mentors rather than just one - to escape the tendency of mere imitation and to actively synthesis techniques, styles or ideas; 2) disciples should work under those who are at the peak of their career (a combination of ideational richness and ideational openness); 3) aspirants should have a strong talent (to be able to pursue one's own idiosyncratic ideas and even to rebel against one's mentor).
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