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An expert is somebody who has a broad and deep
understanding Understanding is a psychological process related to an abstract or physical thing, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to use concepts to model that thing. Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of u ...

understanding
and competence in terms of
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
,
skill A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into Departmentalization, domain-general and domain-specific skills. ...
and
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian physician Consciousness, at its simplest, is " sentience or awareness of internal and external existence". Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

experience
through practice and
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
in a particular field. Informally, an expert is someone widely recognized as a
reliable Reliability, reliable, or unreliable may refer to: Science, technology, and mathematics Computing * Data reliability (disambiguation), Data reliability, a property of some disk arrays in computer storage * High availability * Reliability (computer ...
source of
technique Technique or techniques may refer to: Music * The Techniques, a Jamaican rocksteady vocal group of the 1960s *Technique (band), a British female synth pop band in the 1990s *Technique (album), ''Technique'' (album), by New Order, 1989 *Techniques ( ...
or skill whose faculty for judging or deciding rightly, justly, or wisely is accorded authority and status by
peer Peer may refer to: Sociology * Peer, an equal in age, education or social class; see Peer group * Peer, a member of the peerage Computing * Peer, one of several functional units in the same layer of a network; See Peer group (computer networking) ...
s or the
public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization An organization, or organisation (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth Engli ...
in a specific well-distinguished domain. An expert, more generally, is a person with extensive knowledge or
ability
ability
based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study. Experts are called in for advice on their respective subject, but they do not always agree on the particulars of a field of study. An expert can be believed, by virtue of
credential A credential is a piece of any document that details a qualification, competence, or authority issued to an individual by a third party with a relevant or ''de facto'' authority or assumed competence to do so. Examples of credentials include ac ...

credential
s,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the backbone of content at (also known as ...

training
,
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
,
profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from re ...

profession
,
publication To publish is to make content Content or contents may refer to: Media * Content (media), information or experience provided to audience or end-users by publishers or media producers ** Content industry, an umbrella term that encompasses comp ...

publication
or
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian physician Consciousness, at its simplest, is " sentience or awareness of internal and external existence". Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

experience
, to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person, sufficient that others may
official An official is someone who holds an office (function or , regardless whether it carries an actual with it) in an or government and participates in the exercise of , (either their own or that of their superior and/or employer, public or legally ...

official
ly (and
legally Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
) rely upon the individual's
opinion An opinion is a judgement Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication'' which means the evaluation of evidence to make a decision. Judgement is also the ability to make considered decisions. The term has four disti ...

opinion
on that topic. Historically, an expert was referred to as a sage. The individual was usually a profound thinker distinguished for
wisdom Wisdom, sapience, or sagacity is the ability to contemplate and act using knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. The usual test for a stateme ...

wisdom
and sound
judgment Judgement (or US spelling judgment) is also known as ''adjudication Adjudication is the legal process by which an arbiter or judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a ...
. In specific fields, the definition of expert is well established by consensus and therefore it is not always necessary for individuals to have a professional or academic
qualification Qualification is either the process of qualifying for an achievement, or a credential attesting to that achievement, and may refer to: * Professional qualification Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, of ...
for them to be accepted as an expert. In this respect, a shepherd with 50 years of experience tending flocks would be widely recognized as having complete expertise in the use and training of sheep dogs and the care of sheep. Another example from
computer science Computer science deals with the theoretical foundations of information, algorithms and the architectures of its computation as well as practical techniques for their application. Computer science is the study of , , and . Computer science ...
is that an
expert system In artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=posse ...
may be taught by a human and thereafter considered an expert, often outperforming human beings at particular tasks. In
law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described by its boundari ...
, an
expert witness An expert witness, particularly in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written o ...
must be recognized by
argument In logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning Reason is the capacity of consciously making sense of things, applying logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, lab ...
and
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
. Research in this area attempts to understand the relation between expert knowledge, skills and personal characteristics and exceptional performance. Some researchers have investigated the cognitive structures and processes of experts. The fundamental aim of this research is to describe what it is that experts know and how they use their knowledge to achieve performance that most people assume requires extreme or extraordinary ability. Studies have investigated the factors that enable experts to be fast and accurate.


Expertise

Expertise characteristics, skills and knowledge of a person (that is, expert) or of a system, which distinguish experts from novices and less experienced people. In many domains there are objective measures of performance capable of distinguishing experts from novices: expert chess players will almost always win games against recreational chess players; expert
medical specialist A medical specialty is a branch of medical practice that is focused on a defined group of patients, diseases, skills, or philosophy. Examples include children (paediatrics Pediatrics (American and British English differences, also spelled paedi ...
s are more likely to diagnose a disease correctly; etc. The word expertise is used to refer also to Expert Determination, where an expert is invited to decide a disputed issue. The decision may be binding or advisory, according to the agreement between the parties in dispute.


Academic views

There are two academic approaches to the understanding and study of expertise. The first understands expertise as an emergent property of
communities of practice A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who "share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly". The concept was first proposed by cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave and educati ...
. In this view expertise is socially constructed; tools for thinking and scripts for action are jointly constructed within social groups enabling that group jointly to define and acquire expertise in some domain. In the second view, expertise is a characteristic of individuals and is a consequence of the human capacity for extensive adaptation to physical and social environments. Many accounts of the development of expertise emphasize that it comes about through long periods of deliberate practice. In many domains of expertise estimates of 10 years' experience deliberate practice are common. Recent research on expertise emphasizes the nurture side of the
nature and nurture The nature versus nurture debate involves whether human behavior is determined by the environment, either prenatal or during a person's life, or behavioral genetics, by a person's genes. The alliterative expression "nature and nurture" in English ...
argument. Some factors not fitting the nature-nurture dichotomy are biological but not genetic, such as starting age, handedness, and season of birth. In the field of education there is a potential "expert blind spot" (see also
Dunning–Kruger effect The Dunning–Kruger effect is a hypothetical cognitive bias A cognitive bias is a systematic pattern of deviation from norm (philosophy), norm or rationality in judgment. Individuals create their own "subjective reality" from their perception ...

Dunning–Kruger effect
) in newly practicing educators who are experts in their content area. This is based on the "expert blind spot hypothesis" researched by Mitchell Nathan and Andrew Petrosino. Newly practicing educators with advanced subject-area expertise of an educational content area tend to use the formalities and analysis methods of their particular area of expertise as a major guiding factor of student instruction and knowledge development, rather than being guided by student learning and developmental needs that are prevalent among novice learners. The blind spot metaphor refers to the physiological blind spot in human vision in which perceptions of surroundings and circumstances are strongly impacted by their expectations. Beginning practicing educators tend to overlook the importance of novice levels of prior knowledge and other factors involved in adjusting and adapting pedagogy for learner understanding. This expert blind spot is in part due to an assumption that novices’ cognitive schemata are less elaborate, interconnected, and accessible than experts’ and that their pedagogical reasoning skills are less well developed. Essential knowledge of subject matter for practicing educators consists of overlapping knowledge domains: subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content matter. Pedagogical content matter consists of an understanding of how to represent certain concepts in ways appropriate to the learner contexts, including abilities and interests. The expert blind spot is a pedagogical phenomenon that is typically overcome through educators’ experience with instructing learners over time.


Historical views

In line with the socially constructed view of expertise, expertise can also be understood as a form of
power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of power is the watt, equal to one joule per second. In older works, p ...
; that is, experts have the ability to influence others as a result of their defined social status. By a similar token, a fear of experts can arise from fear of an intellectual elite's power. In earlier periods of history, simply being able to read made one part of an intellectual elite. The introduction of the
printing press A printing press is a mechanical device for applying pressure to an ink Ink is a gel, sol, or solution Image:SaltInWaterSolutionLiquid.jpg, Making a saline water solution by dissolving Salt, table salt (sodium chloride, NaCl) in wate ...
in Europe during the fifteenth century and the diffusion of printed matter contributed to higher literacy rates and wider access to the once-rarefied knowledge of academia. The subsequent spread of education and learning changed society, and initiated an era of widespread education whose elite would now instead be those who produced the written content itself for consumption, in education and all other spheres. Plato's "
Noble Lie In politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social scie ...
", concerns expertise. Plato did not believe most people were clever enough to look after their own and society's best interest, so the few clever people of the world needed to lead the rest of the flock. Therefore, the idea was born that only the elite should know the truth in its complete form and the rulers, Plato said, must tell the people of the city "the noble lie" to keep them passive and content, without the risk of upheaval and unrest. In contemporary society, doctors and scientists, for example, are considered to be experts in that they hold a body of dominant knowledge that is, on the whole, inaccessible to the layman. However, this inaccessibility and perhaps even mystery that surrounds expertise does not cause the layman to disregard the opinion of the experts on account of the unknown. Instead, the complete opposite occurs whereby members of the public believe in and highly value the opinion of medical professionals or of scientific discoveries, despite not understanding it.


Related research

A number of computational models have been developed in
cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Educ ...

cognitive science
to explain the development from novice to expert. In particular, Herbert A. Simon and Kevin Gilmartin proposed a model of learning in chess called MAPP (Memory-Aided Pattern Recognizer). Based on simulations, they estimated that about 50,000 chunks (units of memory) are necessary to become an expert, and hence the many years needed to reach this level. More recently, the CHREST model (Chunk Hierarchy and REtrieval STructures) has simulated in detail a number of phenomena in chess expertise (eye movements, performance in a variety of memory tasks, development from novice to expert) and in other domains. An important feature of expert performance seems to be the way in which experts are able to rapidly retrieve complex configurations of information from long-term memory. They recognize situations because they have meaning. It is perhaps this central concern with meaning and how it attaches to situations which provides an important link between the individual and social approaches to the development of expertise. Work on "Skilled Memory and Expertise" by Anders Ericsson and James J. Staszewski confronts the paradox of expertise and claims that people not only acquire content knowledge as they practice cognitive skills, they also develop mechanisms that enable them to use a large and familiar knowledge base efficiently. Work on
expert systems In artificial intelligence Artificial intelligence (AI) is intelligence Intelligence has been defined in many ways: the capacity for logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=posse ...

expert systems
(computer software designed to provide an answer to a problem, or clarify uncertainties where normally one or more human experts would need to be consulted) typically is grounded on the premise that expertise is based on acquired repertoires of rules and frameworks for decision making which can be elicited as the basis for computer supported judgment and decision-making. However, there is increasing evidence that expertise does not work in this fashion. Rather, experts recognize situations based on experience of many prior situations. They are in consequence able to make rapid decisions in complex and dynamic situations. In a critique of the expert systems literature, Dreyfus & Dreyfus suggest:
If one asks an expert for the rules he or she is using, one will, in effect, force the expert to regress to the level of a beginner and state the rules learned in school. Thus, instead of using rules they no longer remember, as knowledge engineers suppose, the expert is forced to remember rules they no longer use. … No amount of rules and facts can capture the knowledge an expert has when he or she has stored experience of the actual outcomes of tens of thousands of situations.


Skilled memory theory

The role of long-term memory in the skilled memory effect was first articulated by Chase and Simon in their classic studies of chess expertise. They asserted that organized patterns of information stored in long-term memory (chunks) mediated experts' rapid encoding and superior retention. Their study revealed that all subjects retrieved about the same number of chunks, but the size of the chunks varied with subjects' prior experience. Experts' chunks contained more individual pieces than those of novices. This research did not investigate how experts find, distinguish, and retrieve the right chunks from the vast number they hold without a lengthy search of long-term memory. Skilled memory enables experts to rapidly encode, store, and retrieve information within the domain of their expertise and thereby circumvent the capacity limitations that typically constrain novice performance. For example, it explains experts' ability to recall large amounts of material displayed for only brief study intervals, provided that the material comes from their domain of expertise. When unfamiliar material (not from their domain of expertise) is presented to experts, their recall is no better than that of novices. The first principle of skilled memory, the ''meaningful encoding principle,'' states that experts exploit prior knowledge to durably encode information needed to perform a familiar task successfully. Experts form more elaborate and accessible memory representations than novices. The elaborate semantic memory network creates meaningful memory codes that create multiple potential cues and avenues for retrieval. The second principle, the ''retrieval structure principle'' states that experts develop memory mechanisms called retrieval structures to facilitate the retrieval of information stored in long-term memory. These mechanisms operate in a fashion consistent with the meaningful encoding principle to provide cues that can later be regenerated to retrieve the stored information efficiently without a lengthy search. The third principle, the ''speed up principle'' states that long-term memory encoding and retrieval operations speed up with practice, so that their speed and accuracy approach the speed and accuracy of short-term memory storage and retrieval. Examples of skilled memory research described in the Ericsson and Stasewski study include: * a waiter who can accurately remember up to 20 complete dinner orders in an actual restaurant setting by using mnemonic strategy, patterns, and spatial relations (position of the person ordering). At the time of recall all items of a category (e.g., all salad dressings, then all meat temperatures, then all steak types, then all starch type) would be recalled in clockwise for all customers. * a running enthusiast who grouped together short random sequences of digits and encoded the groups in terms of their meaning as running times, dates, and ages. He was thus able to recall over 84% of all digit groups presented in a session totaling 200–300 digits. His expertise was limited to digits; when a switch from digits to letters of the alphabet was made he exhibited no transfer—his memory span dropped back to about six consonants. * math enthusiasts who can in less than 25 seconds mentally solve 2 × 5 digit multiplication problems (e.g., 23 × 48,856) that have been presented orally by the researcher.


In problem solving

Much of the research regarding expertise involves the studies of how experts and novices differ in solving problems. Mathematics and physics are common domains for these studies. One of the most cited works in this area examines how experts (PhD students in physics) and novices (undergraduate students that completed one semester of mechanics) categorize and represent physics problems. They found that novices sort problems into categories based upon surface features (e.g., keywords in the problem statement or visual configurations of the objects depicted). Experts, however, categorize problems based upon their deep structures (i.e., the main physics principle used to solve the problem).Chi et al. 1981 Their findings also suggest that while the schemas of both novices and experts are activated by the same features of a problem statement, the experts’ schemas contain more procedural knowledge which aid in determining which principle to apply, and novices’ schemas contain mostly declarative knowledge which do not aid in determining methods for solution.


Germain's scale

Relative to a specific field, an expert has: * Specific education, training, and knowledge * Required qualifications * Ability to assess importance in work-related situations * Capability to improve themselves * Intuition * Self-assurance and confidence in their knowledge Marie-Line Germain developed a psychometric measure of perception of employee expertise called the Generalized Expertise Measure. She defined a behavioral dimension in experts, in addition to the dimensions suggested by Swanson and Holton. Her 16-item scale contains objective expertise items and subjective expertise items. Objective items were named Evidence-Based items. Subjective items (the remaining 11 items from the measure below) were named Self-Enhancement items because of their behavioral component. * This person has knowledge specific to a field of work. * This person shows they have the education necessary to be an expert in the field. * This person has the qualifications required to be an expert in the field. * This person has been trained in their area of expertise. * This person is ambitious about their work in the company. * This person can assess whether a work-related situation is important or not. * This person is capable of improving themselves. * This person is charismatic. * This person can deduce things from work-related situations easily. * This person is intuitive in the job. * This person is able to judge what things are important in their job. * This person has the drive to become what they are capable of becoming in their field. * This person is self-assured. * This person has self-confidence. * This person is outgoing.


Rhetoric

Scholars in
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
have also turned their attention to the concept of the expert. Considered an appeal to ethos or "the personal character of the speaker", established expertise allows a speaker to make statements regarding special topics of which the audience may be ignorant. In other words, the expert enjoys the deference of the audience's judgment and can appeal to authority where a non-expert cannot. In The Rhetoric of Expertise, E. Johanna Hartelius defines two basic modes of expertise: autonomous and attributed expertise. While an autonomous expert can "possess expert knowledge without recognition from other people," attributed expertise is "a performance that may or may not indicate genuine knowledge." With these two categories, Hartelius isolates the rhetorical problems faced by experts: just as someone with autonomous expertise may not possess the skill to persuade people to hold their points of view, someone with merely attributed expertise may be persuasive but lack the actual knowledge pertaining to a given subject. The problem faced by audiences follows from the problem facing experts: when faced with competing claims of expertise, what resources do non-experts have to evaluate claims put before them?


Dialogic expertise

Hartelius and other scholars have also noted the challenges that projects such as Wikipedia pose to how experts have traditionally constructed their authority. In "Wikipedia and the Emergence of Dialogic Expertise", she highlights Wikipedia as an example of the "dialogic expertise" made possible by collaborative digital spaces. Predicated upon the notion that "truth emerges from dialogue", Wikipedia challenges traditional expertise both because anyone can edit it and because no single person, regardless of their credentials, can end a discussion by fiat. In other words, the community, rather than single individuals, direct the course of discussion. The production of knowledge, then, as a process of dialogue and argumentation, becomes an inherently rhetorical activity. Hartelius calls attention to two competing norm systems of expertise: “network norms of dialogic collaboration” and “deferential norms of socially sanctioned professionalism”; Wikipedia being evidence of the first.Hartelius 2010, pp. 505–526. Drawing on a Bakhtinian framework, Hartelius posits that Wikipedia is an example of an epistemic network that is driven by the view that individuals’ ideas clash with one another so as to generate expertise collaboratively. Hartelius compares Wikipedia's methodology of open-ended discussions of topics to that of Bakhtin's theory of speech communication, where genuine
dialogue Dialogue (sometimes spelled dialog in American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native ...
is considered a live event, which is continuously open to new additions and participants. Hartelius acknowledges that
knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to e ...
,
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian physician Consciousness, at its simplest, is " sentience or awareness of internal and external existence". Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

experience
,
training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides the backbone of content at (also known as ...

training
,
skill A skill is the learned ability to perform an action with determined results with good execution often within a given amount of time, energy, or both. Skills can often be divided into Departmentalization, domain-general and domain-specific skills. ...
, and
qualification Qualification is either the process of qualifying for an achievement, or a credential attesting to that achievement, and may refer to: * Professional qualification Professional certification, trade certification, or professional designation, of ...
are important dimensions of expertise but posits that the concept is more complex than sociologists and psychologists suggest. Arguing that expertise is rhetorical, then, Hartelius explains that expertise: “(...) is not simply about one person’s skills being different from another’s. It is also fundamentally contingent on a struggle for ownership and legitimacy.”. Effective communication is an inherent element in expertise in the same style as knowledge is. Rather than leaving each other out, substance and communicative style are complementary. Hartelius further suggests that Wikipedia's dialogic construction of expertise illustrates both the instrumental and the constitutive dimensions of rhetoric; instrumentally as it challenges traditional encyclopedias and constitutively as a function of its knowledge production. Going over the historical development of the encyclopedic project, Hartelius argues that changes in traditional encyclopedias have led to changes in traditional expertise. Wikipedia's use of
hyperlink In computing Computing is any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computing machinery. It includes the study and experimentation of algorithmic processes and development of both computer hardware , hardware and so ...

hyperlink
s to connect one topic to another depends on, and develops, electronic interactivity meaning that Wikipedia's way of knowing is dialogic. Dialogic expertise then, emerges from multiple interactions between utterances within the
discourse community A discourse community is a group of people who share a set of discourse Discourse is a generalization of the notion of a conversation to any form of communication. Discourse is a major topic in social theory, with work spanning fields such as so ...
. The ongoing dialogue between contributors on Wikipedia not only results in the emergence of truth; it also explicates the topics one can be an expert of. As Hartelius explains: “The very act of presenting information about topics that are not included in traditional encyclopedias is a construction of new expertise.”. While Wikipedia insists that contributors must only publish preexisting knowledge, the dynamics behind dialogic expertise creates new information nonetheless. Knowledge production is created as a function of dialogue. According to Hartelius, dialogic expertise has emerged on Wikipedia not only because of its interactive structure but also because of the site's hortative discourse which is not found in traditional encyclopedias. By Wikipedia's hortative discourse, Hartelius means various encouragements to edit certain topics and instructions on how to do so that appear on the site. One further reason to the emergence of dialogic expertise on Wikipedia is the site's community pages, which function as a techne; explicating Wikipedia's expert methodology.


Networked expertise

Building on Hartelius, Damien Pfister developed the concept of "networked expertise". Noting that Wikipedia employs a "many to many" rather than a "one to one" model of communication, he notes how expertise likewise shifts to become a quality of a group rather than an individual. With the information traditionally associated with individual experts now stored within a text produced by a collective, knowing about something is less important than knowing how to find something. As he puts it, "With the internet, the historical power of subject matter expertise is eroded: the archival nature of the Web means that what and how to information is readily available." The rhetorical authority previously afforded to subject matter expertise, then, is given to those with the procedural knowledge of how to find information called for by a situation.


Contrasts and comparisons


Associated terms

An expert differs from the specialist in that a specialist has to ''be able to solve'' a and an expert has to ''know its solution''. The opposite of an expert is generally known as a
layperson In religious organizations, the laity consists of all members who are not part of the clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presidin ...
, while someone who occupies a middle grade of understanding is generally known as a
technician A technician is a worker in a field of technology who is proficient in the relevant skill and technique, with a relatively practical understanding of the theoretical principles. Specialisation The term technician covers many different specialisa ...

technician
and often employed to assist experts. A person may well be an expert in one field and a layperson in many other fields. The concepts of experts and expertise are debated within the field of
epistemology Epistemology (; ) is the Outline of philosophy, branch of philosophy concerned with knowledge. Epistemologists study the nature, origin, and scope of knowledge, epistemic Justification (epistemology), justification, the Reason, rationality o ...

epistemology
under the general heading of expert knowledge. In contrast, the opposite of a specialist would be a generalist or
polymath A polymath ( el, πολυμαθής, , "having learned much"; la, homo universalis, "universal human") is an individual whose knowledge spans a substantial number of subjects, known to draw on complex bodies of knowledge to solve specific pro ...

polymath
. The term is widely used informally, with people being described as 'experts' in order to bolster the relative value of their opinion, when no
objective Objective may refer to: * Objective (optics), an element in a camera or microscope * ''The Objective'', a 2008 science fiction horror film * Objective pronoun, a personal pronoun that is used as a grammatical object * Objective Productions, a Briti ...
criteria for their expertise is available. The term
crank Crank may refer to: Mechanisms * Crank (mechanism) A crank is an arm attached at a right angle to a rotating shaft by which circular motion is imparted to or received from the shaft. When combined with a connecting rod, it can be used to conv ...
is likewise used to disparage opinions. Academic elitism arises when experts become convinced that only their opinion is useful, sometimes on matters beyond their personal expertise. In contrast to an expert, a
novice A novice is a person who has entered a religious order and is under probation, before taking vows. A ''novice'' can also refer to a person (or animal e.g. racehorse Horse racing is an performance sport, typically involving two or more ...
(known
colloquially Colloquialism or colloquial language is the style (sociolinguistics), linguistic style used for casual (informal) communication. It is the most common functional style of speech, the idiom normally employed in conversation and other informal conte ...
as a
newbie Newbie, newb, noob, n00b or nub is a slang Slang is vocabulary (words, phrases, and usage (language), linguistic usages) of an informal register, common in spoken conversation but avoided in formal writing. It also sometimes refers to the l ...

newbie
or 'greenhorn') is any person that is new to any science or field of study or activity or social cause and who is undergoing training in order to meet normal requirements of being regarded a mature and equal participant. "Expert" is also being mistakenly interchanged with the term "
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
" in new media. An expert can be an authority if through relationships to people and technology, that expert is allowed to control access to his expertise. However, a person who merely wields authority is not by right an expert. In new media, users are being misled by the term "authority". Many sites and search engines such as Google and Technorati use the term "authority" to denote the link value and traffic to a particular topic. However, this authority only measures populist information. It in no way assures that the author of that site or blog is an expert.


Developmental characteristics

Some characteristics of the development of an expert have been found to include * A characterization of this practice as "deliberate practice", which forces the practitioner to come up with new ways to encourage and enable themselves to reach new levels of performance"Definition" Merriam-Webster. * An early phase of learning which is characterized by enjoyment, excitement, and participation without outcome-related goals * The ability to rearrange or construct a higher dimension of creativity. Due to such familiarity or advanced knowledge experts can develop more abstract perspectives of their concepts and/or performances.


Use in literature

Mark Twain Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or ...

Mark Twain
defined an expert as "an ordinary fellow from another town".
Will Rogers William Penn Adair Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American stage and film actor, vaudeville Vaudeville (; ) is a of born in France at the end of the 19th century. A vaudeville was originally a comedy without p ...

Will Rogers
described an expert as "A man fifty miles from home with a briefcase." Danish scientist and Nobel laureate
Niels Bohr Niels Henrik David Bohr (; 7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962) was a Danish Danish may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the country of Denmark * A national or citizen of Denmark, also called a "Dane", see Demographics of D ...

Niels Bohr
defined an expert as "A person that has made every possible mistake within his or her field."Coughlan 1954.
Malcolm Gladwell Malcolm Timothy Gladwell (born 3 September 1963) is an English-born Canadian journalist, author, and public speaker. He has been a staff writer for ''The New Yorker'' since 1996. He has published seven books: ''The Tipping Point: How Little Thi ...
describes expertise as a matter of practicing the correct way for a total of around 10,000 hours.


See also

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General

* * * * * * * *


Criticism

* * * *


Psychology

* * * *


References


Bibliography

*
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
. "Rhetoric." The Basic Works of Aristotle. Trans. W. Rhys Roberts, ed.
Richard McKeon Richard McKeon (; April 26, 1900 – March 31, 1985) was an American philosopher and longtime professor at the University of Chicago. His ideas formed the basis for the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Life, times, and influences McKeon ...
. New York: Modern Library, 2001. ISBN 0375757996. Print. * Borko H, Eisenhart M, Brown CA, Underhill RG, Jones D, Agard PC
Learning to teach hard mathematics: Do novice teachers and their instructors give up too easily?
''Journal for research in mathematics education.'' 1992 May 1;23(3):194–222. * * * * * Chi, M. T. H., Glasser R., & Rees, E. (1982). Expertise in problem solving. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), ''Advances in the psychology of human intelligence''. (Vol. 1, pp. 7–75). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum. * Collins, R. (1979). ''The Credential Society'' * * * Dewey, J. (1927). ''The Public and its Problems'' * * Ericsson, K. A. (2000)

* * * * * Germain, M.-L. (2005). Apperception and self-identification of managerial and subordinate expertise. Academy of Human Resource Development. Estes Park, CO. February 24–27. * Germain, M.-L. (2006). Development and preliminary validation of a psychometric measure of expertise: The Generalized Expertise Measure (GEM). Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Barry University, Florida. * Germain, M.-L. (2006). Perception of Instructors’ Expertise by College Students: An Exploratory Qualitative Research Study. American Educational Research Association annual conference, San Francisco, CA. April 7–11. * Germain, M.-L. (2006). What experts are not: Factors identified by managers as disqualifiers for selecting subordinates for expert team membership. Academy of Human Resource Development Conference. Columbus, OH. February 22–26. * Germain, M.-L. (2009). The impact of perceived administrators' expertise on subordinates' job satisfaction and turnover intention. Academy of Human Resource Development. Arlington, VA. February 18–22. * Germain, M.-L., & Tejeda, M. J. (2012)
A preliminary exploration on the measurement of expertise: An initial development of a psychometric scale
Human Resource Development Quarterly, 23, no. 2, 203–232. doi:10.1002/hrdq.21134. * * * * * * * * Goldman, A. I. (1999).

'. Oxford:
Oxford University Press Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press A university press is an academic publishing Publishing is the activity of making information, literature, music, software and other content available to the public for sale or for fre ...

Oxford University Press
. * Hartelius, E. Johanna. The Rhetoric of Expertise. Lanham: Lexington, 2011. Print. * Hartelius, E. Johanna. "Wikipedia and the Emergence of Dialogic Expertise." Southern Communication Journal 75.5 (2010). Web. * , ''Le rôle des experts à la Conférence de la Paix. Gestation d'une technocratie en politique internationale''. Ottawa, Editions de l'Université d'Ottawa, 1972, 227 pages. * Mieg, Harald A. (2001). ''The social psychology of expertise''. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. * * * Pfister, Damien. "Networked Expertise in the Era of Many-to-many Communication: On Wikipedia and Invention." Social Epistemology: A Journal of Knowledge, Culture, and Policy 25.3 (2011). Web. * * * * Sowell, T. (1980). ''Knowledge and decisions''. New York: Basic Books, Inc. * Starkes, Janet L., Ericsson, K. Anders (2003)
Expert Performance in Sports
Advances in Research on Sport Expertise. p. 91 * Swanson, R. A., & Holton III, E. F. (2001)
Foundations of Human Resource Development
San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc. . * *


Further reading

;Books and publications * Brint, Steven. 1994. In an Age of Experts: The Changing Roles of Professionals in Politics and Public Life. Princeton University Press. * Ikujiro Nonaka, Georg von Krogh, and Sven Voelpel, Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory: Evolutionary Paths and Future Advances. Organization Studies, Vol. 27, No. 8, 1179-1208 (2006). SAGE Publications, 2006. DOI 10.1177/0170840606066312 * * * B Wynne, May the sheep safely graze? A reflexive view of the expert-lay knowledge divide. Risk, Environment and Modernity: Towards a New Ecology, 1996. * Thomas H. Davenport, et al., Working knowledge . 1998, knowledge.hut.fi. * Mats Alvesson, Knowledge work: Ambiguity, image and identity. Human Relations, Vol. 54, No. 7, 863-886 (2001). The Tavistock Institute, 2001. * Peter J. Laugharne, Parliament and Specialist Advice, Manutius Press, 1994. * Jay Liebowitz, Knowledge Management Handbook. CRC Press, 1999. 328 pages. * C. Nadine Wathen and Jacquelyn Burkell, Believe it or not: Factors influencing credibility on the Web. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, VL. 53, NO. 2. PG 134–144. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2002. DOI 10.1002/asi.10016 * Nico Stehr, Knowledge Societies. Sage Publications, 1994. 304 pages. ;Patents * , Basic expert system tool, Steven Hardy et al., Filed November 25, 1987, Issued February 7, 1989. {{Authority control Skills Social constructionism Knowledge