The perils of automaticity
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|Title:||The perils of automaticity||Authors:||Toner, John
Montero, Barbara Gail
Moran, Aidan P.
|Permanent link:||http://hdl.handle.net/10197/7136||Date:||Dec-2015||Abstract:||Classical theories of skill acquisition propose that automatization (i.e., performance requires progressively less attention as experience is acquired) is a defining characteristic of expertise in a variety of domains (e.g., Fitts & Posner, 1967). Automaticity is believed to enhance smooth and efficient skill execution by allowing performers to focus on strategic elements of performance rather than on the mechanical details that govern task implementation (see Williams & Ford, 2008). By contrast, conscious processing (i.e., paying conscious attention to one’s action during motor execution) has been found to disrupt skilled movement and performance proficiency (e.g., Beilock & Carr, 2001). On the basis of this evidence, researchers have tended to extol the virtues of automaticity. However, few researchers have considered the wide range of empirical evidence which indicates that highly automated behaviours can, on occasion, lead to a series of errors that may prove deleterious to skilled performance. Therefore, the purpose of the current paper is to highlight the perils, rather than the virtues, of automaticity. We draw on Reason’s (1990) classification scheme of everyday errors to show how an over-reliance on automated procedures may lead to three specific performance errors (i.e., mistakes, slips and lapses) in a variety of skill domains (e.g., sport, dance, music). We conclude by arguing that skilled performance requires the dynamic interplay of automatic processing and conscious processing in order to avoid performance errors and to meet the contextually-contingent demands that characterise competitive environments in a range of skill domains.||Type of material:||Journal Article||Publisher:||American Psychological Association||Copyright (published version):||2015 American Psychological Association||Keywords:||Automaticity; Expertise; Performance error; Cognitive control||DOI:||10.1037/gpr0000054||Language:||en||Status of Item:||Peer reviewed|
|Appears in Collections:||Psychology Research Collection|
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