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Cambridge University Press
Toward a General Theory of Expertise: Prospects and Limits

Toward a General Theory of Expertise: Prospects and Limits

by K. Anders Ericsson, Jacqui SmithK. Anders Ericsson
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During the past twenty years, our knowledge about expertise has dramatically increased. Laboratory analyses of chessmasters, experts in physics, medicine, international-level musicians, athletes, writers, and performance artists have allowed us to carefully examine the cognitive processes mediating outstanding performance in very diverse areas of expertise. These analyses have shown that expert performance is primarily a reflection of acquired skill resulting from the accumulation of domain-specific knowledge and methods during many years of training and practice rather than special innate talent. Confronted with universal limits of human information processing concerning memory capacity and speed of processing, expert performers are found to be able to acquire similar types of skills to circumvent these limits. General findings on expertise are systematized to lay the foundation of a general theory of expertise. In this book, many of the world's foremost scientists studying expert performance in specific domains of expertise review the state-of-the-art knowledge about expertise in these domains with the goal of identifying characteristics of expert performance that can be generalized across many different areas of expertise. These papers provide a comprehensive summary of general methods to study expertise and the current knowledge about expertise in chess, physics, medicine, sports, performing arts, music, writing, and decision-making. Most importantly, they reveal the existence of many general characteristics of expertise.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521406123
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 08/30/1991
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 360
Product dimensions: 6.02(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Preface; 1. Prospects and limits of the empirical study of expertise: an introduction K. Anders Ericsson and Jacqui Smith; 2. Expertise in chess: the balance between knowledge and search Neil Charness; 3. Learning and use of representation for physics expertise Yuichiro Anzai; 4. The general and specific nature of medical expertise: a critical look Vilma L. Patel and Guy J. Groen; 5. Motor-skill experts in sport, dance, and other domains Fran Allard and Janet L. Starkes; 6. Musical expertise John Sloboda; 7. Literate expertise Marlene Scardamalia and Carl Bereiter; 8. The process-performance paradox in expert judgment: how can experts know so much and predict so badly? Colin F. Camerer and Eric J. Johnson; 9. Controlling complex systems; or, Expertise as 'grandmother's know-how' Dietrich Dörner and Julia Schölkopf; 10. Techniques for representing expert knowledge Judith Reitman Olson and Kevin J. Biolsi; 11. Expertise as the circumvention of human processing limitations Timothy A. Salthouse; 12. Symbolic connectionism: toward third-generation theories of expertise Keith J. Holyoak; Index.

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