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Research Report

Cognition, decision and expertise

Fresh thinking in learning and development

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Cognition, decision and expertise

Published February 2014

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1064 KB

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About this download

This Research Insight, the second in a series three reports written with key experts, allows us to tap into the insight potential of new areas. The intention is that this will help build the capability which helps L&D build its role at the centre of organisational learning.

This report, written with Dr Adrian P Banks of the University of Surrey, addresses cognition, decision-making and the role of expertise and professional judgement. 

"As the world of learning shifts towards more social, collaborative and interactive
learning, these thinking, perceiving and sense-making skills will become invaluable."

Contents of the report
  • Executive summary
  • Making good decisions
    – The power of choices
    – Decision-making: the discounted skill
    – Our cognitive constraint
    – Behaviour and uncertain choices
  • How we decide the theory
    – Fit for purpose: the tricks of heuristics
    – Beware of bias in the system
    – Our flawed human being
  • Deciding in practice
    – Expert decision-making: patterns from know-how
    – Juries really don’t know – they make up stories
    – The power of practice
    – Decision and indecision: thinking in two minds
    – Thinking out of our minds: distributed cognition
    – Willpower, habits and decision fatigue
  • Conclusion and practice pointers