Evaluation Of Expertise Research

Problem-solving expertise relies on acquiring knowledge structures and strategies appropriate to a particular problem situation. Green and Gilhooly (1992) summarise the results of expertise research in five maxims, which we paraphrase as:

• Experts remember better.

• Experts employ different problem-solving strategies.

• Experts have better and more elaborated problem representations.

• Experts' superiority is based on knowledge, not on some basic capacity.

• Experts become expert through extensive practice.

We have seen these maxims reflected in the threeareas of expertise research that have been reviewed. The consensus on these maxims is someindication of the success of this research area.Expertise research has been marked by success inseveral respects. First, it is an area where computational modelling has proved to be very informative. We now have very well developed modelsof skill acquisition and expert problem solving.Indeed, both Anderson (1996) and Newell (1990)consider these production system models to becandidate, cognitive architectures; that is, generaltheoretical frameworks for characterising all ofcognition. Second, this research has considerablesignificance to everyday cognition; in particular,it is important in education, where one view ofthe task of educators is to create experts.

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