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A spiral model of musical decision-making

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      Abstract

      This paper describes a model of how musicians make decisions about performing notated music. The model builds on psychological theories of decision-making and was developed from empirical studies of Western art music performance that aimed to identify intuitive and deliberate processes of decision-making, a distinction consistent with dual-process theories of cognition. The model proposes that the proportion of intuitive (Type 1) and deliberate (Type 2) decision-making processes changes with increasing expertise and conceptualizes this change as movement along a continually narrowing upward spiral where the primary axis signifies principal decision-making type and the vertical axis marks level of expertise. The model is intended to have implications for the development of expertise as described in two main phases. The first is movement from a primarily intuitive approach in the early stages of learning toward greater deliberation as analytical techniques are applied during practice. The second phase occurs as deliberate decisions gradually become automatic (procedural), increasing the role of intuitive processes. As a performer examines more issues or reconsiders decisions, the spiral motion toward the deliberate side and back to the intuitive is repeated indefinitely. With increasing expertise, the spiral tightens to signify greater control over decision type selection. The model draws on existing theories, particularly Evans’ (2011) Intervention Model of dual-process theories, Cognitive Continuum Theory Hammond et al. (1987), Hammond (2007), Baylor’s (2001) U-shaped model for the development of intuition by level of expertise. By theorizing how musical decision-making operates over time and with increasing expertise, this model could be used as a framework for future research in music performance studies and performance science more generally.

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      Most cited references 60

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      The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance.

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        Dual-Process Theories of Higher Cognition: Advancing the Debate.

        Dual-process and dual-system theories in both cognitive and social psychology have been subjected to a number of recently published criticisms. However, they have been attacked as a category, incorrectly assuming there is a generic version that applies to all. We identify and respond to 5 main lines of argument made by such critics. We agree that some of these arguments have force against some of the theories in the literature but believe them to be overstated. We argue that the dual-processing distinction is supported by much recent evidence in cognitive science. Our preferred theoretical approach is one in which rapid autonomous processes (Type 1) are assumed to yield default responses unless intervened on by distinctive higher order reasoning processes (Type 2). What defines the difference is that Type 2 processing supports hypothetical thinking and load heavily on working memory. © The Author(s) 2013.
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          Direct comparison of the efficacy of intuitive and analytical cognition in expert judgment

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            School of the Arts and Media, UNSW Sydney, NSW, Australia
            Author notes

            Edited by: Aaron Williamon, Royal College of Music, UK

            Reviewed by: Ute Schmid, University of Bamberg, Germany; Mine Dogantan, Middlesex University, UK; Philip Fine, University of Buckingham, UK

            *Correspondence: Daniel Bangert, School of the Arts and Media, UNSW, Robert Webster Building, High Street, Kensington, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia e-mail: danielbangert@ 123456gmail.com

            This article was submitted to Cognitive Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology.

            Contributors
            Journal
            Front Psychol
            Front Psychol
            Front. Psychol.
            Frontiers in Psychology
            Frontiers Media S.A.
            1664-1078
            22 April 2014
            2014
            : 5
            24795673
            4001015
            10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00320
            Copyright © 2014 Bangert, Schubert and Fabian.

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

            Counts
            Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 79, Pages: 11, Words: 0
            Categories
            Psychology
            Hypothesis and Theory Article

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