Competence in experts: summary

Just giv­ing a short table-sum­mary of an ar­ti­cle by James Shanteau on which ar­eas and tasks ex­perts de­vel­oped a good in­tu­ition—and which ones they didn’t. Though the ar­ti­cle is old, the re­sults seem to be in agree­ment with more re­cent sum­maries, such as Kah­ne­man and Klein’s. The heart of the ar­ti­cle was a de­com­po­si­tion of char­ac­ter­is­tics (for pro­fes­sions and for tasks within those pro­fes­sions) where we would ex­pert ex­perts to de­velop good perfor­mance:


Good perfor­mance Poor perfor­mance

Static stimuli

De­ci­sions about things

Ex­perts agree on stimuli

More pre­dictable problems

Some er­rors expected

Repet­i­tive tasks

Feed­back available

Ob­jec­tive anal­y­sis available

Prob­lem decomposable

De­ci­sion aids common

Dy­namic (change­able) stimuli

De­ci­sions about behavior

Ex­perts dis­agree on stimuli

Less pre­dictable problems

Few er­rors expected

Unique tasks

Feed­back unavailable

Sub­jec­tive anal­y­sis only

Prob­lem not decomposable

De­ci­sion aids rare

I do feel that this may go some way to ex­plain­ing the ex­pert’s perfor­mance here.