How experts' adaptations to representative task demands account for the expertise effect in memory recall: comment on Vicente and Wang (1998)

Psychol Rev. 2000 Jul;107(3):578-92. doi: 10.1037/0033-295x.107.3.578.


K. A. Ericsson and W. Kintsch's (1995) theoretical framework of long-term working memory (LTWM) accounts for how experts acquire encoding and retrieval mechanisms to adapt to real-time demands of working memory during representative interactions with their natural environments. The transfer of the same LTWM mechanisms is shown to account for the expertise effect in unrepresentative "contrived" memory tests. Therefore, K. J. Vicente and J. H. Wang's (1998) critique of the generalizability of the LTWM framework is rejected. Their proposed refutation of LTWM accounts is found to be based on misrepresented facts. The process-based framework of LTWM is shown to be superior to their product theory because it can explain interactions of the expertise effect in "contrived" recall under several testing conditions differing in presentation rate, instructions, and memory procedures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Humans
  • Knowledge
  • Mental Recall*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Task Performance and Analysis