Drawing as a Window onto Expertise

Chamberlain, Rebecca. 2018. Drawing as a Window onto Expertise. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(6), pp. 501-507. ISSN 0963-7214 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The ability to draw is a uniquely human activity, ubiquitous in childhood but seldom performed at expert levels in adulthood. Relative to other domains of expertise (chess, music, sport) drawing is understudied, and yet because it is a universal developmental ability mastered by so few, it provides an ideal testbed for competing theories of expertise. In this review, three strands of active research and debate in the field of expertise will be considered in relation to representational drawing ability: (1) The characterization of expertise in relation to altered visual attention and memory; (2) The relative roles of personality traits and cognitive abilities; and (3) The interaction between genes and environment in the development of expertise. The study of representational drawing sheds new light on these three strands and provides rich avenues for further research in this domain.

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Identification Number (DOI):



Expertise; Drawing; Individual Differences; Attention; Visual Memory

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26 June 2018Accepted
6 November 2018Published Online
1 December 2018Published

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Date Deposited:

26 Jun 2018 14:29

Last Modified:

11 Jun 2021 23:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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