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Thought in ActionExpertise and the Conscious Mind$
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Barbara Gail Montero

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596775

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596775.001.0001

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Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement

(p.127) 6 Continuous Improvement
Thought in Action

Barbara Gail Montero

Oxford University Press

Although most agree that enormous amounts of thought and effort go into making an expert, it is typically thought that such deliberate practice aims at the final result of performing effortlessly, automatically, and with a minimal amount of conscious thought. It is argued here that because experts practice with focused thought and because the desire to improve and excel is so ingrained, experts can think, without detriment, while performing (as long as they are thinking about the right things). The chapter concludes with a discussion of whether expert action may give us reason to question the extent to which attention is limited. In sports, the performing arts, academia, and elsewhere, when the pressure is on, or when the drive to succeed is overwhelming—situations that never truly occur in laboratory settings—what might be possible for an expert to achieve?

Keywords:   deliberate practice, training, automaticity, focused thought, conscious thought, limited attention, expert action, improvement, sports, performing arts

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