Presentation on theme: "Cognitive Psychology Expertise 22nd October 2008 James Matthews"— Presentation transcript:
1 Cognitive Psychology Expertise 22nd October 2008 James Matthews
2 Expertise Today’s Lecture What is expertise & expert performance Traditional View of ExpertiseProdigies & SavantsTalent as a predictor of successExpert PerformanceResearch TechniquesTheories of ExpertiseRecognition Association TheoryTemplate TheoryACT TheoryEricsson’s Deliberate Practice
3 What is expertise? Innate Talent / Hard Wired? Acquired / Software? This is the key point aroound expertise. Is the expert performance of a person down to talent / genetics / physiological attributes or is can it be learned and accuired over a period of time.Today we are going to examine this issue.
4 What is expertise? Expertise refers to the mechanisms underlying the superior achievement of an expert, i.e. one who has acquired special skill in or knowledge of a particular subject through professional training and practical experience.(Webster’s dictionary)How do we define expertise?Webster’s dictionary tell us that expertise refers to:
5 Who is an expert?An expert can be defined as any person who is wearing a suit, carrying a laptop computer and more than 50km fromhome !An expert is a person who possess specialist knowledge in a designated field (e.g. medical pathology). (Moran, 2004)Who is an expert?This joke approach is very similar to the image of a travelling salesman or the idea of a “consultant”Moran definition
6 Perceived Vs Consistent Expert Performance Criteria for expert performance varies from domain to domain, e.g. chess and the arts.Outlier – if a person is performing at least 2 standard deviations above the mean level in the population, that individual can be said to performing at an expert level (Ericsson & Charness, 1994).The distinction between perceived and actual expertise is important as performance of people nominated as experts is not always measurably superior.
7 Perceived Vs Consistent Expert Performance Numerous studies show that financial stock experts investments yield returns that are not consistently better than the average of the stock marketExperts may have more knowledge but their performance on key tasks is not always reliably better.We must not assume experts performance is superior, they must demonstrate it is.
8 Traditional View of Expertise “On the whole the gods do not bestow more than one gift on a person” (Murray, 1989)Bias towards attributing high abilities to gifts rather than experience.Galton – first person to investigate expertiseInnate abilityMotivationEffort
9 Traditional View of Expertise Gardner (1983) – Proposed 7 types of intelligenceLinguistic, Musical, Spatial, Mathematical, Kinaesthetic, Interpersonal and IntrapersonalGardner's theory argues that intelligence, as it is traditionally defined, does not adequately encompass the wide variety of abilities humans displayHe believed the salient aspect of innate talent was the potential for achievement and the capacity to learn material relevant to one of the intelligencesIdeas based on the research of savants and prodigies
10 Performance of Prodigies & Savants Prodigy: person, especially a young one, who displays unusual or exceptional talent or intelligence (APA Dictionary, 2009)Savant: Individuals with a low level of general intellectual functioning who are able to perform at high levels in some special tasks (Ericsson & Charness, 1994)
11 Performance of Prodigies & Savants Talent in Music – Absolute Pitch0.01% of population1st appears in early childhoodAdults appear unable to attain in spite of trainingHulse (1993) – AP can be acquired by anyone, but only during a limited period of development.Indivs with AP started music instruction before age of 6Studies have shown successful results in teaching AP to 3 – 6 year old childrenAP a natural consequence of the right instruction and access to opportunities to play with an instrument.
12 Performance of Prodigies & Savants Acquisition of skills by prodigies follows the same sequence of stages as other individuals in the same domain BUT attain higher levels quicker and faster.Most Child Prodigies never attain exceptional levels of performance as adults.Most exceptional adult performers started instruction early and developed due to high levels of appropriate training (Bloom, 1985).The role of early instruction and maximal parental support appears to be more important than innate talent.
13 Performance of Prodigies & Savants Savants - some parents have believed these gifts as coming from God.Lab studies of performance of savants have shown them to reflect acquired skills.Naming the day of the week of a certain date is replicatable by a college student after a months training.One ability that does not seem to be reproducable after a period of training concerns some savants’ ability to play a piece of music after a single hearing.
14 Performance of Prodigies & Savants Sloboda et al (1985)Savant able to memorise a new piece of musicMarked difference in success with a conventional vs tonally unconventional piece.Thus savants may need access to stored patterns and retrieval systemsMany savants are blind so cannot read music so learn by listening which provides motivation for development of certain memory skillsLaboratory research on prodigies and savant provides no conclusive evidence for innate talent.
15 Talent as a predictor of future success HardwareBasic elements that cannot be changed through trainingSoftwareKnowledge and strategies that can be readily changed as a function of training and learningHardware – Intuitively appealingBUTFaster reflexes/extreme visual acuityAge of peak level of performanceFast twitch Vs Slow twitch fibresRift Valley - Kenya
16 Talent as a predictor of future success Colin Jackson - “The Making of Me”Former World Champion & World Record Holder, 110m HurdlesA sample of his leg muscle showed that he had 10% super fast twitch fibres, when all previous athletes tested had only 2%.Family support was also thought to have been highly significant.Clip showed a stadium in Jamaica with people cheering on children taking part in an average school sports meet.
17 Talent as a predictor of future success Ericsson et al (1993)Elite athletes show faster reaction times to situations within their own domains than novices or non expertNo difference between experts and novices on reaction times for simple lab tasksThis finding is replicated across numerous domain, e.g. chess
18 Talent as a predictor of future success Physiological and Anatomical attributes can change dramatically in response to physical trainingPercy Montgomery, World Cup Winner, SAHeight is the one exception…UK Sports search for tall people for 2012
19 Talent as a predictor of future success Overall little empirical evidence supports the talent view of expertise and expert performance.
20 Expert Performance Remember financial example… We must not assume experts performance is superior, they must demonstrate it is.Key challenge is to identify particular well-defined tasks that frequently occur and that capture the essence of expert performance in a specific domain.De Goot – pioneering research to capture expert performance
21 De Goot’s Research De Goot – Chess Master Determined that the ability to play chess is best captured in the task of selecting the next move for a given chess position taken from the middle of a game between two chess masters.Presented chessboard configurations to chess playing subjections for periods of 2 – 15 seconds.Found that experts were superior to other players in ability to reproduce accurately the location of pieces.
23 Chase and SimonChase and Simon (1973) replicated De Goot’s findings and discovered something new:The superior STM performance of chess experts was confined to meaningful (i.e. game specific) chess patternsIt did not appear when unstructured “scrambled” or random patterns were presented
25 Theories of ExpertiseSuggested that the better performance of experts is not due to any general memory advantage (such as photographic memory)Instead they proposed that experts superior STM performance was due to their ability to recognise configurations of their chess pieces on the basis of their knowledge of vast numbers of chess patterns (e.g. 50,000 – 100,000)
26 Recognition – Association Theory Became known as the “Recognition – Association” theoryA chess position is perceived by a skilled player in terms of groups of 2 – 3 chess pieces corresponding to familiar patterns (chunks) in LTMWith extensive experience and learning, the size and number of chunks in LTM can increase.Each of these chunks is thought to be associated with plausible movesTherefore experts superior memory for chess patterns attributed to their ability to perceive the board in terms of chunks and to hold labels in corresponding to each chunk in working memory.
27 Research Methods in Expertise In-depth Interviews:May lead to grounded theory, where researchers build a conceptual model inductively from data yielded from participants rather than deductivelyThink aloud verbal protocols:Required to talk about or give running commentary on their thoughts and actions as they tackle a problemSome limitations:Editing problem from sheer volume of dataProtocols limited to consciously attributable processesPeople more self conscious / guarded?
28 Research Methods in Expertise Thought Sampling:Involves equipping athletes with electronic bleepers during domain relevant situations and cueing them to randomly pay attention to their thoughts at that timeGood ecological validityPattern recall and recognition tasks:De Goot and Chase and Simon’s workEye – tracker technology:Saccadic Movements – high speed jumpsSmooth Pursuit Movements – help focus on a given targetResearch supports that experts display a more efficient visual search strategy than less skilled counterpartsCricket research (Land and McLeod, 2000)
29 Back to theories of expertise It is wrong to assume that the only characteristic of expertise is superior memoryHolding & Reynolds (1982) argue that experts also possess superior strategic processing skills to novices
30 Theories of Expertise Template theory Experts organise chunks into meaningful complex structures known as templatesChess pieces might be remembered as being in a strong, weak or neutral position as a wholeTemplates can hold larger amounts of information than simple chunksThinking can be directed strategically
31 Template TheoryCharnes et al. (2001) presented chess boards to experts and novicesEye movements were recorded for the first second after presentationEven in this short time experts were more likely than novices to fixate on tactically relevant pieces (80% v 64%)Global structures of game patterns seem to be stored by experts
32 Template TheoryMcGregor & Holmes (2002) showed chess boards to experts and novicesParticipants had to indicate if they had seen a particular board before or notExperts were better at realising that they had not seen a particular board if 1 important piece was shifted rather than if the whole board was translated one space over.Evidence that the way the game is developing, and associated strategies are all coming into play
33 Template Theory Evaluation: It is not clear from template theory what the precise information is that is being stored.Attack / defense relations are more memorable than piece location, but this does not help in deciphering what the contents of memory are…
34 Andersons ACT TheoryAdaptive Control of Thought theory proposes 3 connected systems at work in experts:Declarative memory (semantic network)Procedural memory (simplifying decision making)Working memory
35 Andersons ACT Theory As a novice becomes more expert. . . There is knowledge compilation, resulting in a shift from declarative to procedural memoryProceduralisation is where production rules (if…. then) are drawn up to make decisions and take action more quicklyComposition improves performance by reducing a repeated sequence of actions to a single action
36 Andersons ACT TheoryZbrodoff (1995) had participants answer questions about the alphabete.g. S + 4 = ? Ans: WInitially participants were quicker to answer S + 2 than S + 4This is because initially participants were running through the alphabet in their headAfter practice the times became equal as participants began to rely automatically on past experience
37 Andersons ACT Theory Evaluation: There is good evidence of a shift from declarative to procedural memory as people become well practiced at a particular taskThis model deals well with unvarying procedures (touch typing), but does not say much about creative/adaptive expertise (like that seen in scientific theory)
38 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice Ericsson believed that practice of the right sort was not only necessary but also sufficient for memory expertise to developA wide range of expertise can be developed through deliberate practice, which has 4 aspects:The task is at an appropriate level of difficultyThe learner is provided with informative feedback re their performanceThe learner has sufficient opportunities for repetitionIt is possible for the learner to correct his / her errors
39 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice What is controversial is Ericsson’s belief that innate talent has no influence on expert performance.It is only for height that innate characteristics have been shown to matter (Remember London 2012)Evidence of this position:Ericsson and Chase (1982) - Digit Span TaskExtensive practice on task where numbers had to be recalled immediately7 digits recalled on average at start80 digits recalled after practice for an hour a day for 2 yearsNo cross over to letter or word spansIncreased his span by organising chunks into a hierarchial retrieval structure
40 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice According to Ericsson and Lehman (1996), what’s important is the amount of deliberate practice as compared to the amount of sheer practiceThink of kids who spend hours on the road kicking a football but never make professional or representative levelEricsson et al (1993) – Violinists at German music academyKey difference between violinists of varying ability was the amount of deliberate practice7,500 hours engaged in deliberate practice for Experts Violinists5,300 hours engaged in deliberate practice for Good ViolinistsPerfecting their skills as compared to mindlessly repeating elementary drills
41 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice Is innate ability or intelligence unimportant in the development of expertise?Ceci and Liker (1986) – Harness Racing Study14 experts and 16 non experts,IQs’ varied between 80 and 130 in both groupsPerformance indicated that experts performed better than non experts regardess of IQ levelCeci and Liker (1986) suggested “that IQ is unrelated to real world forms of cognitive complexity that would appear to conform to some of those that scientists regard as hallmarks of intelligence behaviour”
42 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice Evaluation:Evidence indicates that deliberate practice is necessary for expertise BUT the support that it is sufficient for expertise is somewhat less consistent
43 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice Some Limitations:Lots of evidence that DP is not the only factor. Innate ability predicts long term career success in many occupations (Gottfredson, 1997)The notion that innate talent is irrelevant seems implausible (Sternberg, 2001)It’s the highly intelligent or talented individuals who are willing to put in the hours of practiceMotivation…
44 Ericsson’s Theory of Deliberate Practice Some Limitations:If nearly all experts in the field have enormous talent, then it is not surprising that individual differences in talent do not predict expertise (e.g. height in basketball which does not predict performance)
45 Expertise Today’s Lecture What is expertise & expert performance Traditional View of ExpertiseProdigies & SavantsTalent as a predictor of successExpert PerformanceResearch TechniquesTheories of ExpertiseRecognition Association TheoryTemplate TheoryACT TheoryEricsson’s Deliberate Practice
46 Readings Eysenck & Keane: Chapter 13 Ericsson, K.A & Charness, N. (1994). Expert Performance – Its Structural and Acquisition. American Psychologist, 8, 725 – 747.Moran, A.P (2004). Sport & Exercise Psychology. A Critical Introduction.Matlin: Chapter 10
47 Articles to ReadMiller, L.K. (1998)The Savant Syndrome: Intellectual Impairment and Exceptional Skill. Psychological Bulletin, 125,Helsen, W.F., Hodges, N.J., Van Winckel, J. & Starkes, J.L. (2000). The roles of talent, physical precocity and practice in the development of soccer expertise. Journal of Sports Sciences, 18, 727 – 736.
48 ExtinctionMarzi et al. (2001). What exactly is extinguished in unilateral extinction? Neurophysiological evidence. Neuropsychologia, 1354 – 1366.Rees et al. (2000). Unconscious activation of the visual cortex in the damaged right hemipshere of a parietal patient with extinction. Brain, 1624 – 1633.Both introductions give good basic explanations.
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