How Experts Solve a Novel Problem within Their Domain of Expertise (Hoe Experts een Nieuw Probleem Binnen hun Expertisegebied Oplossen)
INSTITUTE FOR PERCEPTION RVO-TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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Research on expert-novice differences has mainly focused on how experts solve familiar problems. We know far less about the skills and knowledge used by experts when they are confronted with novel problems within their area of expertise. This report discusses a study in which verbal protocols were taken from subjects of various expertise designing an experiment in an area they were unfamiliar with. The results showed that even when domain knowledge is lacking, experts solve a problem within their area of expertise by dividing the problem into a number of subproblems that are solved in a specified order. The lack of domain knowledge is compensated for by using abstract knowledge structures and domain-specific strategies. The results suggest that experts are confronted with novel problems, they can bring to bear various types of knowledge and strategies that enable them to outperform novices. Keywords Netherlands, Dutch language, Translations.