Thinking outside of the box : the role of environmental adaptation in the acquisition of skilled and expert performance

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Bibliographic Details
Title translated into German:Über den "Tellerand" hinaus sehen : der Einfluss von umgebungsbedingten Anpassungen bei der Aneignung von Fertigkeiten und Expertenwissen
Author:Eccles, David W.
Published in:Journal of sports sciences
Published:24 (2006), 10, S. 1103-1114, Lit.
Format: Publications (Database SPOLIT)
Publication Type: Journal article
Media type: Print resource
ISSN:0264-0414, 1466-447X
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Identification number:PU201401000027


According to current theories of expert performance, experts gain an advantage by acquiring through practice cognitive skills and strategies that increase the efficiency with which information specific to their domain is processed. Consequently, experts are able to circumvent natural processing limitations. In this study, a description is provided of how experts make use of strategies that involve adapting physical elements of their domain environment to reduce cognitive workload during performance. Telephone interviews were conducted with 15 expert orienteers and six coaches of national orienteering squads about how expert orienteers carry and arrange their navigational equipment while orienteering. A content analysis of the interview data revealed that expert orienteers adapt their navigational equipment to reduce the cognitive and, more specifically, attentional workload during performance. A theory of how experts circumvent natural processing limitations requires consideration of the role of such strategies. Verf.-Referat