Human Factors

Human Factors

Adaptive expertise in health care


Prof. dr. Jan Maarten Schraagen (Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics, UT)

Dr. Martin Schmettow (Cognitive Psychology and Ergonomics, UT)

Dr. Marleen Groenier (Technical Medicine, UT)


The aim of the study is to understand the relationship between knowledge representations and expert professional performance in health care.


The development and implementation of technology in health care is faster than ever. Technological advancements that needed centuries before are nowadays implemented within a much shorter timeframe. The interaction between medicine and technology confronts health care professionals with a rapidly changing working environment. Health care professionals therefore not only need to be well-informed about the basic science of medicine, such as anatomy and physiology, but also learn to use rapidly changing technology in their daily practice. They need the ability to navigate through a multitude of challenges throughout their working life. The ability to apply knowledge to new situations and to grow as a professional when faced with unfamiliar challenges should be a fundamental part of their professional training. Education aimed at the development of skills related to applying knowledge to unfamiliar and non-routine situations enables them to continuously learn and innovate. In the current project we investigate how these skills are acquired and how they impact professional performance. We hypothesize that the structure of the individual’s knowledge representation determines performance.

Methods & Analysis

Cross-sectional study using knowledge elicitation methods, such as interviewing and card sorting.

Additional information

It is possible to do this assignment in collaboration with another student.


Mylopoulos, M. & Scardamalia, M. (2008). Doctors’ perspectives on their innovations in daily practice: implications for knowledge building in health care. Medical Education, 42, 975-981.

Bohle Carbonell, K., Stalmeijer, R.E., Könings, K.D., Segers, M., & Van Merriënboer, J.J.G. (2014). How experts deal with novel situations: A review of adaptive expertise. Educational Research Review, 12, 14-29.