ERIC Number: ED326543
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Feb-18
Reference Count: N/A
Skill and Skilled Memory. Final Report. Research Report 04206.
Staszewski, James J.
Two longitudinal studies of expert-level cognitive skills and their acquisition are reported. The first study focused on the skill of an otherwise normal subject who increased his digit-span to over 100 digits with 4.5 years of practice using the mnemonic system developed by W. G. Chase and K. A. Ericsson. The second study followed two college undergraduates who became mental calculation experts by practicing for 3 to 4 years with strategies used by previously studied experts. The studies relied on the tenets of skilled memory theory. Observations of subjects' learning and performance suggest that acquired knowledge, rather than exceptional native talents or general aptitudes, constitutes the foundation of expertise, and that the knowledge structures and processing that support expertise can be analyzed. Theoretical analyses reveal that rapid and reliable storage and retrieval of information in long-term memory (LTM) appears to be a key characteristic of experts' information processing. Acquired memory skills enable experts to use LTM in order to reduce the constraints that a limited working memory capacity imposes on performance in complex tasks. The studies also document the effects of efficient information-processing strategies on cognitive skill acquisition and expert performance. The report distribution list is appended. A 5-item summary of publications, a 92-item list of references, 11 figures, and 9 tables are included. (TJH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA. Cognitive and Neural Sciences Div.
Authoring Institution: Carnegie-Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA.
Identifiers: Digit Span Tasks; Expertise; Retrieval (Memory)