Brooke N Macnamara

Brooke N Macnamara
Case Western Reserve University | CWRU · Department of Psychological Sciences

PhD

About

51
Publications
58,503
Reads
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2,100
Citations
Citations since 2017
35 Research Items
1897 Citations
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Introduction
Brooke N. Macnamara is a cognitive psychologist, currently serving as an associate professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Case Western Reserve University.

Publications

Publications (51)
Preprint
According to mindset theory, students who believe their personal characteristics can change—that is, those who hold a growth mindset—will achieve more than students who believe their characteristics are fixed. Proponents of the theory have developed interventions to influence students’ mindsets, claiming that these interventions lead to large gains...
Article
Full-text available
According to mindset theory, students who believe their personal characteristics can change-that is, those who hold a growth mindset-will achieve more than students who believe their characteristics are fixed. Proponents of the theory have developed interventions to influence students' mindsets, claiming that these interventions lead to large gains...
Article
Full-text available
Do individuals learn more effectively when given progressive or variable problem-solving experience, relative to consistent problem-solving experience? We investigated this question using a Rubik’s Cube paradigm. Participants were randomly assigned to a progression-order condition, where they practiced solving three progressively more difficult Rub...
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Background Does early specialization facilitate later athletic excellence, or is early diversification better? This is a longstanding theoretical controversy in sports science and medicine. Evidence from studies investigating athletes’ starting age, childhood/adolescent progress, and amounts of coach-led practice and peer-led play in their main spo...
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Adolescents facing adversities are susceptible to depression and sleep problems. Resilience is an important protective mechanism for coping with adversity. During the COVID-19 pandemic, adolescents faced hardships including being pulled from their schools and being unable to socialize with friends during mandated lockdowns. We had three aims in thi...
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Why are some tasks more difficult to learn than others? Hoffman et al. (Accelerated expertise: training for high proficiency in a complex world. Psychology Press, New York, 2014) hypothesized that certain task characteristics—termed “dimensions of difficulty”—hindered learning and performance. Previously, we tested two dimensions: consistent vs. va...
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The Mindset Assessment Profile is a popular questionnaire purportedly designed to measure mindset—an individual’s belief in whether intelligence is malleable or stable. Despite its widespread use, the questionnaire appears to assess an individual’s need for cognition and goal orientation more than mindset. We assessed the reliability, construct val...
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What explains the acquisition of exceptional human performance? Does a focus on intensive specialized practice facilitate excellence, or is a multidisciplinary practice background better? We investigated this question in sports. Our meta-analysis involved 51 international study reports with 477 effect sizes from 6,096 athletes, including 772 of the...
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In a recent Psychological Research article, Moxley, Ericsson, and Tuffiash (2017) report two studies of SCRABBLE expertise. The results revealed that the average SCRABBLE rating was higher for males than for females. Moreover, correlational and structural equation analyses revealed that activities that the authors refer to as “purposeful practice”...
Article
The underlying cognitive mechanisms explaining why speakers sometimes make communication errors are not well understood. Some scholars have theorized that audience design engages automatic processes when a listener is present; others argue that it relies on effortful resources, even if a listener is present. We hypothesized that working memory is e...
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Managing risk is an integral part of life. Whereas risk-taking is sometimes construed as only “bad” (e.g., drug use) or “good” (e.g., investing), the present research focuses on “optimal risk-taking.” In economic settings, optimal risk on an exceedingly large number of repeated wagers can be computed using Kelly’s Formula (Kelly, 1956). We tested w...
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The question of what explains individual differences in expertise within complex domains such as music, games, sports, science, and medicine is currently a major topic of interest in a diverse range of fields, including psychology, education, and sports science, to name just a few. Ericsson and colleagues’ deliberate practice view is a highly influ...
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How many items can we store in visual working memory while simultaneously conducting a visual search? Previous research has proposed that during concurrent visual search, only one visual working memory representation can be activated to directly influence attention. This previous research suggests that other visual working memory representations ar...
Preprint
Mindset refers to people’s beliefs about whether attributes are malleable (growth mindset) or unchangeable (fixedmindset). Proponents of mindset theory have made bold claims about mindset’s importance. For example, one’smindset is described as having profound effects on one’s motivation and achievements, creating different psychological worlds for...
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Mind-set refers to people’s beliefs about whether attributes are malleable ( growth mind-set) or unchangeable ( fixed mind-set). Proponents of mind-set theory have made bold claims about mind-set’s importance. For example, one’s mind-set is described as having profound effects on one’s motivation and achievements, creating different psychological w...
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The Mindset Assessment Profile Tool is an 8-item questionnaire developed by the company Mindset Works, Inc. to measure mindset. We assessed the reliability, construct validity, and factor structure of the Mindset Assessment Profile in a sample of 992 undergraduates. The reliability of the Mindset Assessment Profile (α = .63) was considerably lower...
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In recent years there has been increased attention on research methods and practices that increase reproducibility, transparency, and data sharing, as well as attempts to replicate previous research. These open science initiatives increase confidence in empirical findings, leading to improved theory development. The goal of this special issue of th...
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We sought to replicate Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer's (Ericsson, Krampe & Tesch-Römer 1993 Psychol. Rev.100, 363-406) seminal study on deliberate practice. Ericsson et al. found that differences in retrospective estimates of accumulated amounts of deliberate practice corresponded to each skill level of student violinists. They concluded, 'individ...
Preprint
The underlying cognitive mechanisms engaged in communication planning and monitoring are not well understood. Some scholars have theorized that communication engages automatic processes when an interlocutor is present; others argue that planning and monitoring rely on effortful resources, regardless of interlocutor presence. We hypothesized that (a...
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How do people improve their ability to intercept moving targets? Prior research and theories of skill acquisition suggest that individuals engage in item-specific retrieval shifts (Anglim & Wynton, 2015; Logan, 1988; Palmeri, 1997; Rickard, 1997, 2004; Touron, 2006; Wilkins & Rawson, 2010). However, this prior research examined performance on nonsp...
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Behavioral genetic approaches, such as comparing monozygotic and dizygotic twins, are often used to evaluate the extent to which variations in human abilities are the result of genetic (heritable), shared environmental, and non-shared environmental factors. We conducted a meta-analysis on the twin study literature—comparing monozygotic and dizygoti...
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How important are training and other forms of domain-relevant experience in predicting individual differences in expertise? To answer this question, we used structural equation modeling to reanalyze data from a study of chess by Charness, Tuffiash, Krampe, Reingold, and Vasyukova (2005). Latent variables reflecting serious chess activity and formal...
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Several currently popular areas of research—brain training, mind-set, grit, deliberate practice, and the bilingual advantage—are premised on the idea that environmental factors are the overwhelming determinants of success in real-world pursuits. Here, we describe the major claims from each of these areas of research and discuss evidence for these c...
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We adjusted for dependent performance measures using a method based on Cheung and Chan, 2004, Cheung and Chan, 2008 method. Cheung and Chan's method adjusts the sample size to be between the sample N and the cumulative sample N, and applies this to the average of the dependent effect sizes. Their adjustment formula is as follows: adjusted N = ((N−1...
Preprint
Full-text available
Several currently popular areas of research—brain training, mindset, grit, deliberate practice, and the bilingual advantage—are premised on the idea that environmental factors are the overwhelming determinants of success in real-world pursuits. Here, we describe the major claims from each of these areas of research, before discussing evidence for t...
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Full-text available
For well over a century, scientists have investigated individual differences in performance. The majority of studies have focused on either differences in practice, or differences in cognitive resources. However, the predictive ability of either practice or cognitive resources varies considerably across tasks. We are the first to examine task chara...
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Mind-sets (aka implicit theories) are beliefs about the nature of human attributes (e.g., intelligence). The theory holds that individuals with growth mind-sets (beliefs that attributes are malleable with effort) enjoy many positive outcomes—including higher academic achievement—while their peers who have fixed mind-sets experience negative outcome...
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The debate over the origins of individual differences in expertise has raged on for over a century in psychology. The “nature” view holds that expertise reflects “innate talent”—that is, genetically-determined abilities. The “nurture” view counters that if talent even exists, its effects on ultimate performance are negligible. While no scientist ta...
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Intelligence mindset refers to one's belief that either intelligence is a malleable trait that can improve with effort—a “growth” mindset—or is a relatively stable trait—a “fixed” mindset. According to proponents of mindset theory, holding a growth mindset is beneficial (e.g., greater academic persistence) while holding a fixed mindset is detriment...
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Performance on verbal and mathematical tasks is enhanced when participants shift from using algorithms to retrieving information directly from memory (Siegler, 1988a). However, it is unknown whether a shift to retrieval is involved in dynamic spatial skill acquisition. For example, do athletes mentally extrapolate the trajectory of the ball, or do...
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Substantial research in the psychology of expertise has shown that experts in several fields (e.g., science, mathematics) perform better than non-experts on standardized tests of intelligence. This evidence suggests that intelligence plays an important role in the acquisition of expertise. However, a counter argument is that the difference between...
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The Dual Mechanisms of Control (DMC) account (Braver, 2012) proposes two distinct mechanisms of cognitive control, proactive and reactive. This account has been supported by a large number of studies using the AX-CPT paradigm that have demonstrated not only between-group differences, but also within-subjects variability in the use of the two contro...
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Investigation of the underlying physiology of speech and language motor control often includes analyses of kinematic parameters derived from fleshpoint tracking. A MATLAB program has been developed to visualize, boundary mark, and analyze aspects of motion capture data in a C3D file format. C3D is the biomechanics data standard for binary 3D data t...
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Why are some people more skilled in complex domains than other people? According to one prominent view, individual differences in performance largely reflect individual differences in accumulated amount of deliberate practice. Here, we investigated the relationship between deliberate practice and performance in sports. Overall, deliberate practice...
Article
In a series of four experiments, we explored what conditions are sufficient to produce a phonological similarity facilitation effect in working memory span tasks. By using the same set of memoranda, but differing the secondary-task requirements across experiments, we showed that a phonological similarity facilitation effect is dependent upon the se...
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Ericsson and colleagues’ view that individual differences in expertise can largely be accounted for by accumulated deliberate practice is not supported by the available empirical evidence. Extending earlier work (Macnamara, Hambrick, & Oswald, 2014), we found that deliberate practice accounted for a sizeable amount of variance in sports performance...
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Why are some people so much more successful than other people in music, sports, games, business, and other complex domains? This question is the subject of one of psychology's oldest debates. Over 20 years ago, Ericsson, Krampe, and Tesch-Römer (1993) proposed that individual differences in performance in domains such as these largely reflect accum...
Article
What is the relationship between working memory capacity and skill acquisition among American Sign Language (ASL)-English simultaneous interpreter trainees? ASL-English interpreter trainees were administered measures of working memory capacity, several other cognitive abilities, and simultaneous interpreting performance over two years. We examined...
Chapter
Questions about how expertise is acquired, and how it changes with age in adulthood, have long been of interest to psychologists. Beginning in the late 1960s, research established that novices and experts differ in acquired skills, such as the ability to perceive meaningful patterns of information. The view that emerged from this research was that...
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Full-text available
More than 20 years ago, researchers proposed that individual differences in performance in such domains as music, sports, and games largely reflect individual differences in amount of deliberate practice, which was defined as engagement in structured activities created specifically to improve performance in a domain. This view is a frequent topic o...
Article
Full-text available
The bilingual advantage-enhanced cognitive control relative to monolinguals-possibly occurs due to experience engaging general cognitive mechanisms in order to manage two languages. Supporting this hypothesis is evidence that bimodal (signed language-spoken language) bilinguals do not demonstrate such an advantage, presumably because the distinct l...
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This exploratory study examined domain-general cognitive abilities that may serve as aptitudes for interpreting skill by comparing highly skilled sign language interpreters (those considered competent in most interpreting situations) and less skilled sign language interpreters (those considered less than competent in most interpreting situations) o...
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Three experiments were conducted to examine the effect of phonological similarity in simple and complex memory span tasks. In Experiment 1, participants performed either a simple or a complex span task, and the memoranda within lists were either phonologically similar or distinct. Phonologically similar lists consisted of words that rhymed.The simp...

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