University of Twente Student Theses


Adaptive expertise in solving technical-medical problems

Overkamp, L. (2014) Adaptive expertise in solving technical-medical problems.

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Abstract:Routine experts only show expert performance and efficient problem solving on familiar, routine problems. Adaptive experts, however, balance efficiency with innovation and are able to adapt flexibly to non-routine, non-familiar problems. Adaptive experts have extensive conceptual knowledge, higher metacognition, are innovative and flexible, show determination and a tolerance to ambiguity, and identify themselves positively with their domain. Technical-medical expertise, in which experts systematically use medical and technological expertise to improve healthcare through innovation, is arguably similar to adaptive expertise. The similarity between problem solving strategies of technical-medical experts and the problem solving strategies that constitute adaptive expertise was investigated through qualitative (verbal) analysis. Technical physicians solved a technical-medical problem case while thinking aloud. The verbalizations were recorded, transcribed, segmented, coded and analysed for patterns. The methodology was tested during a pilot experiment. Overall, the results show large proportions of efficiency and metacognition, a moderate amount of decision making and small proportions of innovation and mentioning knowledge. The problem solving strategies of technical-medical experts are at least superficially similar to the problem solving strategies that constitute adaptive expertise, but it cannot be concluded whether TME is structurally more similar to AE than to RE. More research is needed to investigate the structural similarities. Unfortunately, no conclusions could be drawn about the personality and attitudes of the technical physicians. Possible follow-up studies may focus on problem solving strategy proportions of adaptive and routine experts, the nature of flexibility and the attitudes and personality traits of technical physicians.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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