Psych/640 Cognitive Psychology
May 12, 2014
Encyclopedias describe an Expert as “one who is very skillful and well-informed in any given domain ﬁeld, one who has acquired special skill in or knowledge about a particular subject through professional training and practical experience” (Webster’s, 1976, p. 800). It is said that humans are the only species to acquire such knowledge in attaining expertise (Anderson, 2009). Expertise refers to the skills, knowledge and characteristics needed to distinguish experts from novices and people with less experience. The process of attaining expertise begins with learning the ...view middle of the document...
This also helps to improve an individual’s ability to execute what skill they have learned as they progress through each stage of acquisition.
The cognitive stage allows individuals to identify and understand the skill that is to be learned. In this stage individuals rehearse, and encode a set facts relevant to the skill into their memory (Anderson, 2009, pg. 244.). Individuals in this stage begin to watch, think, analyze, reason, judge, and visualize rather than practice. Individuals in this stage develop an in depth understanding of the acquired skill.
The second stage is the associative stage, in this stage two things happen. Any errors that occur in the initial understanding are detected in small degrees and eliminated (Anderson, 2009, pg. 244.). This stage is a hands on sort of stage, individuals practice this increases the ability to perform better at the skill or task. Meaning that the skills the individual learns are strengthened, this allows them to understand how to do the skill or task at hand.
The third stage is the autonomous stage. This stage focuses on skill acquisition that revolves around the individual executing the skill or task automatically without having to think about how to do it. The concept of automaticity is how central cognition drops out of performance of a task as we become more skilled at it (Anderson, 2009, pg. 245.). This stage allows the individual to perform the skill fluently, instinctively, and quickly and outside influence do not affect the outcome of the skill or task.
Research in Expert Performance
Simon and Chase (1973) conducted research on the expertise of chess, they observed that nobody had attained the level of an international chess master (grandmaster) "with less than about a decade's intense preparation with the game" (p. 402). Simon and chase estimated that the time it took a chess player to fully gain expertise is comparable in size to the vocabulary of an adult native speaker of English (Simon & Chase, 1973). It takes normal people approximately ten years or more to acquire this vocabulary. Kroguis (1976) stated that the time between chess players' first learning the rules of chess and attaining international chess master status was 11.7 years for those who learned chess rules late (after age 11) and even longer for those who started early, that is, 16.5 years. Many researches such as J.R. Hayes...