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THE NATURE OF EXPERTISE: KNOWLEDGE OR SEARCH? Ekaterina Vasyukova PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY, Moscow, RUSSIA.

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Presentation on theme: "THE NATURE OF EXPERTISE: KNOWLEDGE OR SEARCH? Ekaterina Vasyukova PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY, Moscow, RUSSIA."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE NATURE OF EXPERTISE: KNOWLEDGE OR SEARCH? Ekaterina Vasyukova PSYCHOLOGY DEPARTMENT, MOSCOW STATE UNIVERSITY, Moscow, RUSSIA

2 Introduction Comparison of peculiarities of knowledge and cognitive processes between experts and novices – one of the important directions of cognitive studies from 80-s of XX century (Velichkovsky, 2006). The goal of these efforts – creation of expert systems of using knowledge in certain field for recommendations and problem-solving. Chess has historically been the primary domain for psychological studies of human expertise. Among the advantages of chess as a research domain is international rating system that enables precise comparisons of skill between players.

3 Studies of the expertise’ nature Chess The nature of expertise comes to: functions and contents of memory (De Groot, 1946; 1965; Gobet & Simon, 1996; 2000; Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995) perceptual advantage of experts (Reingold, Charness, Pomplun & Stampe, 2001; Reingold, Charness, Schultetus & Stampe, 2001) reduced nonverbal search activity as a result of effective action of mechanisms of anticipation and transfer by chess master in a comparison with chess-player of the third grade (Tikhomirov, 1969; 1984) processes of active search, change and more successful interpretation of material (Holding, 1979)

4 Studies of the expertise’ nature Chess research has been useful in characterizing the trade-offs seen between memory, perception and problem-solving performance (Gobet & Charness, 2006).

5 Studies of the expertise’ nature Other domains Key characteristics of experts: not only the greater volume of knowledge, but sensibility to relevant characteristics of situation, flexibility, skill to examine several alternative interpretations and moderate abstract conceptual representations that alleviate the conclusion by analogy and transfer of decision from one subject field to other (see Velichkovsky, 2006).

6 Studies of the expertise’ nature Development of expertise goes at once on several levels of organisation – from perseptual automatisms to metacognition strategies

7 Research question What is the nature of expertise? unilateral accent on knowledge (memory) or search (thinking) trade-off or correlation between knowledge and search

8 Our hypotheses: the nature of expertise is connected not only with one level of proceeding of cognitive processes (inferior or high; verbal or nonverbal); this complicated nature of expertise is displayed in transfer’ mechanism, more effective by experts

9 Background Oleg Tikhomirov’s sense theory of thinking (Tikhomirov, 1969; 1984): The process of problem-solving is a formation, development and difficult interaction of operational sense structures of different types and levels (verbalized and unverbalized operational senses, VOS and UOS). Operational sense designates individual mental reflection of the object, which stems from the different research actions undertaken by the subject and which changes as the same task is being tackled. Sense structures determine selectivity and direction of research activity. The sense’s transfer is a major source of enhancing selectivity of research activity in the problem-solving process. UOS’ transfer is the main factor of the search’s reduction. UOS and VOS are transferred from one situation to another in different degree (an hypothesis: greater VOS’capacity for being transferred)

10 The goal of our research to investigate the process of verbalised operational senses’ transfer from one situation to another.

11 The task of the research to reveal VOS’characteristics in the process of the best move’s selection in connected and unconnected chess positions by chess-players of different qualification and age.

12 Subjects 44 tournament-rated chess-players of different age (from 16 to 80) and chess skill (from a-second-grade to international grandmaster). They were divided on 4 equal groups. Each group includes chess-players with ELO > 2000 (+ / - 40 years old) and < 2000 (+ / - 40 years old).

13 Materials 4 sets of middle game chess positions (each group received own set of two positions). Set A and B are a case of connected positions (accordingly A1 and A2; B1 and B2), where the second position is a continuation of the first position after one move for every side. Sets C and D included unconnected positions (accordingly B1 and A2; A1 and B2) audio cassette recorder

14 Procedure elicited concurrent “think-aloud” verbal reports from individual participants while they attempted to select the best move for each position 5 - minute time limit per position all verbal reports were transcribed and converted into problem behavior graphs (Newell and Simon, 1972). the time to solution (sec.) was recorded

15 Indices of principal VOS’ characteristics Volume of the conscious orientation zone: number of unique base moves (moves-candidates); number of unique other moves (non-base moves); number of episodes (variants); number of terminal nodes (variants and subvariants); number of null moves (vague moves); they appear when chess player examines the plan only for one side without indication of answers of rival, which prove indeterminate;

16 Indices of principal VOS’ characteristics Structure: number of repeated base moves; number of repeated other moves; Depth: maximum depth; mean depth; branchiness (the relation of number of terminal nodes to number of episodes); Understanding’ degree (or consciousness’ degree): number of evaluations; number of evaluations of vagueness of positions after their transformation.

17 additional indices of VOS’ volume and structure number of researched (called) elements; number of researches (calls); mean number of researches of one element; maximum number of one element’s researches; number of significant elements (researched more often, than one element on an average); number of sense substances (elements, researched more often, than one significant element on an average).

18 RESULTS Time to solution Interaction of set x skill

19 Average meaning of additional VOS’ indices in subgroups of the most skilled chess players Set Positio n N number of called elements mean number of calls of one element max. number of calls of one element % of significant elements in general number of elements % of sense substances in general number of elements A A A CA B B B DB

20 Results VOS’ transfer from one situation to another, connected with it, depends on position, skill and age of subject. These factors determine the fact of transfer and its form. Different forms of transfer are associated with change of definite indices of VOS’ volume, structure and depth in connected position.

21 Transformation of elements’ system in connected position by the most skilled chess-players % of elementsPosition A2 (set A) Position B2 (set B) preserved4447 rejected5653 added2614

22 Transformation of elements’ system in connected position by the less skilled chess-players % of elementsPosition A2 (set A) Position B2 (set B) preserved7964 rejected2136 added5262

23 Results The important consequence of transfer is operating in specific situation with a ready-made set of elements (the formation of such a system can be traced to earlier activity). This system is only transformed through excluding a number of elements and including some new elements.

24 Results The level of this transformation depends on anticipation of real changes of situation and subject probability of these anticipations. It is minimal when the real changes not only are anticipated, but predictions are considered as high probable.

25 Anticipation of real changes of situation PositionThe most skilled chess- players (%) The less skilled chess-players (%) A1 (set A)750 B1 (set B)50

26 Results For the most skilled chess players, who anticipated the real changes of the situation, VOS’ transfer may be connected with use and transformation of both earlier accepted anticipations, associated with a sense of action, and earlier rejected anticipations. Their depth (for both types of anticipations) and subject probability (for earlier rejected anticipations) rise.

27 Conclusion VOS’ transfer is more presented by skilled chess-players. They demonstrate the decrease in the number of called elements and rise of percentage of sense substances, decrease of time to solution in a connected position. It reflects the rise of research’ selectivity there.

28 Conclusion VOS’ transfer, giving the direction of the search, is connected with use and transformation of results of previous verbal search. VOS’ transfer is active. So expertise’ nature is complex. It’s connected with both knowledge and thinking. The problem of VOS’ transfer is closely associated with the problem of correlation between knowledge and thinking.

29 Conclusion Our conception of the phenomenon of VOS’ transfer is in conformity with the ideas of a number of psychologists (Dunker, Bartlett, Neisser) about the role of the past experience in cognition. By this ideas the past (past experience) transforms, isn’t simply repeated.

30 Acknowledgements Thanks to the Russian Foundation for Humanities for supporting this research (grant № z)


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