In introduction to Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, Anders Ericsson reviews several conceptualisations of generalisable aspects of expertise.
He also elaborates some definitions:
Expertise comprises a set of charactersitics/skills/knowledge that distinguish experts from novices and less experienced peers.
Expert performance denotes types of superior reproducible performance of representative tasks of a domain.
In some domains there are no objective measures of these two notions; subjective measures are then used. These subjective criteria include:
- recogntion by peers as a reliable source of knowledge/skill
- authority and status accorded by public or peers
- prolonged/intense experience through practice and education
The subjective criteria are often problematic, for example experience, which could mean that difference from novices are a function of repetition rather than superior skill.
Ericsson outlines key issues in expertise development that are currently not well understood and require further research:
- How experts organise their knowledge and performance?
- How can efficiency of learning be improved to reach higher levels of expert performance?
- Why indviduals improve their performance at different rates and why different people reach different levels of final achievement?
- What are the mediating mechanisms of expertise development?
Source: Ericsson, A. (2006). An introduction to Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance: It’s developemnt, organisation and content. In Ericsson, K.A., Charness, N., Feltovich, P., & Hoffman, R. (Eds.), The Cambridge handbook of expertise and expert performance (pp.3-19). Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.