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Title: Perception, cognition and expertise : the role of contextual information
Author: McRobert, Allistair Paul
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2012
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Long-term working memory (Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995) theory suggests that retrieval structure and associated elaborate knowledge are developed and activated based on the demands of the current task and context. A series of studies were conducted to examine perceptual-cognitive processing during skilled performance when contextual information was manipulated. In Chapter 2, eye-movements and verbal reports were collected simultaneously during a simulated laboratory based anticipation task involving cricket. Skilled performers demonstrated superior anticipation accuracy that was characterised by a more refined and effective visual search strategy and by thinking that allowed them to plan an appropriate response strategy. In Chapter 3, the same anticipation task and process measuring techniques were used to examine perceptual-cognitive processes under high and low contextual information conditions. Skilled performers were more accurate, demonstrated more effective search behaviours, and provided more detailed verbal reports of thinking. Moreover, when they viewed their opponent multiple times (high context), they reduced their fixation time. In Chapters 4 and 5, high-fidelity simulated medical environments were used to examine expertise during in situ representative tasks. During the simulated tasks, context-specific information relating to the patient was removed during the low context conditions. Skilled performers demonstrated higher diagnosis accuracy and a lower reduction in accuracy when context was removed. Moreover, they adopted a forward reasoning strategy, generated more options, and selected the best quality option. Findings indicate that contextual information influences performance and perceptual-cognitive processes when engaging in dynamic evolving tasks. Therefore, to develop perceptual-cognitive strategies, practice and instruction sessions need to incorporate context-specific information that actually mimics the demands of the environment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available