Understanding Adaptation: The Components, Effect, Antecedents, and Training of Adaptive Expertise

Wenmo Kong

Advisor: Stephen Zaccaro, PhD, Department of Psychology

Committee Members: Reeshad Dalal, Seth Kaplan, Jose Cortina

David J. King Hall, #2035
November 16, 2018, 12:00 PM to 02:00 PM


Both the academic and applied world are getting increasingly interested in selecting and training adaptive workforce.  Researchers have identified adaptive expertise as a critical predictor of adaptation in the training context.  Despite its importance, the components of adaptive expertise and how it relates to performance adaptation outside the training context still remains unclear.  The present study identified two components of adaptive expertise, and examined the role of these two components in the general process of adaptive performance.  The results showed that the two components (i.e., change sensitivity and strategy proficiency) differentially predicted two stages of adaptive performance (i.e., transition adaptation and reacquisition adaptation).  Change sensitivity and strategy proficiency also differentially mediated the effects of individual difference antecedents onto adaptive performance.  An adaptive strategy training was implemented to improve adaptive expertise and adaptive performance, and the results showed the training worked differently for change sensitivity and strategy proficiency.  Routine expertise was examined as a negative predictor of adaptive performance, and it was negatively affected by the adaptive strategy training.