Abstract and Keywords
Understanding high-level performance requires effective methods of studying expertise and expert performers. Representative tasks that capture the key components of expertise can be identified, allowing expert performance to be studied under controlled conditions. Well-designed representative tasks can allow researchers to elucidate the underlying mechanisms for superior performance, stratify performers based on skill, and uncover the developmental steps taken by those performers to reach their current levels of performance. In the present chapter, the authors first provide a general overview of the concepts of representative tasks and simulated task environments. The authors then describe in more detail how representative tasks and simulated task environments can be used to achieve the twin goals of understanding expert performance and developing training on the basis of expert performers. The authors then present examples of recent research involving representative tasks. The chapter concludes with the authors presenting future directions for the use of representative tasks in research and practice.