Categorization and representation of physics problems by experts and novices (01 Jan 1981)
This is an experimental investigation of how experts and novices differ in the organization of their knowledge. Expertise among physicists for classical mechanics is studied by formally measuring how people talk about, sort, and solve physics problems. The findings show that experts represent a given problem differently from novices. That is, the experts represented a routine physics problem according to its underlying principle, whereas novices based their representation on the problem's literal features. This finding of deep versus shallow representation paved the way for many later studies of expertise in particular domains. In addition to developing techniques for cognitive assessment that can be applied to almost any domain, the discussions of schemas, mental models, and problem solving skills have informed many subsequent analyses of educational practice, training, and individual differences.
Article URL: http://cognitrn.psych.indiana.edu/rgoldsto/cogsci/Chi.pdf