Tag Archives: expertise

Eistein and chalkboard

Lifetime Development of Expertise

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For this week’s Human Factors in History, I went back to the 1920s to a book on the development of expertise. As you know, I am passionately interested in this topic. I am an advocate of Scott Barry Kaufman’s approach, which he shares quite extensively in his book Ungifted. But little did I know that a similar approach had been proposed as early as 1920 by Catharine Cox who had studied eminent scholars from the 15th through 19th centuries. Now THAT is a historical perspective!…

a sign that reads "feedback?"

Confidence in Ignorance

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After listening to David McRaney’s interview of David Dunning about the Dunning-Kruger Effect, I had to go back and read some of the original research on the subject. It fits into the standard model of decision making heuristics that many of you will be familiar with, but this is a pretty extreme example. The basic idea of the Dunning-Kruger Effect is that when you are completely ignorant about a subject, you don’t notice the feedback that tells you that you are wrong because you are looking at the wrong cues…

two guys talking

Ineffective Self Promotion

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Some recent research by Irene Scopelliti and her colleagues should be of real interest. What they found is not only important to those of us who consider ourselves as experts at something for self-protection but also because the social dynamics basis has a lot of human factors to it.

People engage in self-promotional behavior because they want others to hold favorable images of them. Self-promotion, however, entails a tradeoff between conveying one’s positive attributes and being seen as bragging.

a woman playing a violin

Expertise: Talent, Practice, and the Nature/Nurture Debate Redux

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There was an absolutely fabulous interview on the You Are Not So Smart podcast this week. David McRaney interviews David Epstein about training and the development of expertise. It is one of the most cogent discussions of the topic I have ever heard, and this is an area I study rigorously.

I could probably write about this topic for hours, but let me stick to just one main point that David makes very strongly in the interview. What leads to expertise? Why is the 10,000 hour rule such a huge fiction?

a large red F on a report card

“Easier” Can Be a More Powerful Value Proposition than “Better”

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This really resonated with me, even though I had never heard of Pinterest Fail before.

My sort of thing is more like… how can I do something foolproof, cheap, and low-effort that will make me or my family/guests smile?

This is the value proposition that gets me up every day. I don’t follow Martha Stewart’s advice, no matter how beautiful it could make my apartment. I watch the Iron Chef, but I have never been tempted to put that much effort into a meal. And I know I am not alone. (Raise your hands – I know you are out there).

Filanovsky Victoria of Isreal competes the Individual All-around Qualification of Rhythmic Gymnastics of the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games at Bishan Sports Hall in Singapore

Expert Performance

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There often seems to be a false dichotomy between experts who conceptualize expert performance as an innate attribute emerging from cognitive abilities and personality versus experts who conceptualize it as the result of deliberative practice. Scott Barry Kaufman has recently published a brilliant opinion piece in Frontiers in Psychology where he takes issue with this. In contrast, he describes expert performance as:

A complex interaction of many personal and environmental variables that feed off each other in non-linear, mutually reinforcing, and nuanced ways…

Crowd of runners waiting for the start of the 2012 Escalade

Qualitative Research and User Experience

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I found this article from Quirk’s Marketing Research Media to be somewhat ill-informed despite the positive sounding title. I am really interested to hear what others think. “While both marketing research and user experience (UX) research certainly add commercial value, marketing research is focused on getting the right product sold with the right branding and messaging, while UX is about making sure that the Web, mobile resource or electronic device released to the public can be used appropriately.”…