K. Anders Ericsson (born 1947) is a Swedish psychologist and Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University who is internationally recognized as a researcher in the psychological nature of expertise and human performance.
He is the co-editor of The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, a volume released in 2006.
Ericsson's research with Herbert A. Simon on verbal reports of thinking is summarized in a book Protocol Analysis: Verbal Reports as Data, which was revised in 1993. With Bill Chase, he developed the Theory of Skilled Memory based on detailed analyses of acquired exceptional memory performance (Chase, W. G., & Ericsson, K. A. (1982). Skill and working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation, (Vol. 16). New York: Academic Press). One of his most striking experimental results was training a student to have a digit span of more than 100 digits. With Walter Kintsch, he extended this theory into long-term memory to account for the superior working memory of expert performers and memory experts (Ericsson & Kintsch 1995)
Currently, Ericsson studies expert performance in domains such as medicine, music, chess, and sports, focusing exclusively on extended deliberate practice (e.g., high concentration practice beyond one's comfort zone) as a means of how expert performers acquire their superior performance. Critically, Ericsson's program of research serves as a direct complement to other research that addresses cognitive ability, personality, interests, and other factors that help researchers understand and predict deliberate practice and expert performance. In the domain of deliberate practice, Ericsson published an edited book with Jacqui Smith Toward a General Theory of Expertise in 1991 and edited a book The Road to Excellence: The Acquisition of Expert Performance in the Arts and Sciences, Sports and Games that appeared in 1996, as well as a collection edited with Janet Starkes Expert Performance in Sports: Recent Advances in Research on Sport Expertise in 2003. In 2016 he published the book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.
He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
- Ericsson, Anders K.; Prietula, Michael J.; Cokely, Edward T. (2007). "The Making of an Expert". Harvard Business Review (July–August 2007).
- Ericsson, Anders K.; Roring, Roy W.; Nandagopal, Kiruthiga (2007). "Giftedness and evidence for reproducibly superior performance" (PDF). High Ability Studies.
- Ericsson, Anders K.; Kintsch, W. (1995). "Long-term working memory". Psychological Review. 102 (2): 211–245. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.102.2.211. PMID 7740089.
- Ericsson, K. Anders (2003). "The Search for General Abilities and Basic Capacities: Theoretical Implications from the Modifiability and Complexity of Mechanisms Mediating Expert Performance". In Sternberg, Robert J.; Grigorenko, Elena L. The Psychology of Abilities, Competencies, and Expertise. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 93–125. ISBN 978-0-521-00776-4.
- Charness, Neil; Feltovich, Paul J.; Hoffman, Robert R.; Ericsson, K. Anders, eds. (2006). The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521840972. Lay summary (28 June 2010). This review of current research includes chapters by experts.
- Ericsson, K. Anders (2016). Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0544456235.