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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews recent developments in the study of experts. Particularly, it seeks to contrast two approaches. The first traditional approach defined individual experts by peer nomination or the amount of time they have worked as professionals. The second approach—which is the focus of this review—seeks to identify experts based on objective measurement of their reproducibly superior performance on designed standardized representative tasks. The expert-performance approach seeks to identify cognitive and physiological factors mediating the observed superior performance. The chapter outlines how particular training activities (deliberate practice) have been shown to be related to the acquisition of complex cognitive and biological mechanisms that mediate superior performance in a variety of domains of expertise. The concluding section discusses future directions such as the continued specification of causal biological mechanisms mediating the acquisition of expert performance. Key issues such as motivation to engage in practice are also discussed.

Keywords: expertise, experts, expert performance, long-term working memory, skill

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