Alexander P. Burgoyne

Doctoral Student

Alexander Burgoyne plays drums with The Blue Effect in Traverse City, Michigan Alexander P. Burgoyne was awarded the Rasmussen Fellowship upon enrolling in the doctoral program at MSU. In 2018, Alex was awarded the Future Academic Scholars in Teaching Fellowship, a Research Scholars Award from the College of Social Sciences, a Research Enhancement Award from the Department of Psychology, and the Thompson Endowment Fellowship Award.

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Hats I've worn lately:
Laboratory Manager - The Expertise Lab at MSU

Webmaster - The Journal of Expertise

Webmaster - The Science of Expertise

Teaching Assistant - PSY 402(W): Sensation and Perception

What I'm reading:
The Science of Expertise: Behavioral, Neural, and Genetic Approaches to Complex Skill
Edited by Hambrick, Campitelli, & Macnamara

Neural Implementations of Expertise
Edited by Bilalić, Langner, Campitelli, Turella, & Grodd

Alexander P. Burgoyne

Hi, I'm Alex. I'm fascinated by expertise and the cognitive processes supporting exceptional performance. My research uses a multifactorial approach to better understand individual differences in complex skill acquisition. Some of the applications for my work include personnel selection for the workplace, and policy decisions regarding academic achievement interventions. I use a range of statistical approaches in my work, including meta-analysis, structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, hierarchical regression, and anova. I also designed and maintain the website for the Journal of Expertise. Drop me a line if you're interested in collaborating:

Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Doctoral Program
Michigan State University

Ongoing Projects:
Testing the Circumvention of Limits Hypothesis
Does the relationship between cognitive ability and skill acquisition decrease as a function of training? Does selective attrition and reliance on memory-based skill account for decreasing ability-performance correlations? This multi-domain project seeks to test the circumvention of limits hypothesis in chess, music, sports, and professions.

The Role of Placekeeping Ability in Problem Solving
When solving novel problems, we typically engage in sequential hypothesis testing. To what extent does our ability to solve complex problems depend on our ability to keep our place in a series of potential solutions?

How Firm Are the Foundations of Mindset Theory?
Much ado has been made of mindset in educational contexts. However, there appears to be mixed evidence regarding the central premises of mindset theory. In this series of experiments we're testing whether the major claims of mindset theory hold up.

Acquiring Skill in Music: An Individual Differences Approach
What enables some people to defy the typical trajectory of skill acquisition and attain expert levels of performance well before their peers? In this project I assess the relative contribution of individual differences to the acquisition of musical skill in novice pianists.

Predictors of Multitasking Performance
With technology woven into the fabric of everyday experience, there is an increasing demand for multitaskers, especially in the workplace. This experiment tracks the effect of specialized training on predictors of multitasking proficiency.


Burgoyne, Harris, & Hambrick (2019)


Predicting piano skill acquisition in beginners: The role of general intelligence, music aptitude, and mindset

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Altmann (in press)

The American Journal of Psychology

Placekeeping Ability as a Component of Fluid Intelligence: Not Just Working Memory Capacity

Hambrick & Burgoyne (2019)

Current Issues in Sport Science

Beyond nature vs. nurture in expertise research – comment on J. Baker and N. Wattie

Hambrick, Burgoyne, & Oswald (2019)

Vocational Interests in the Workplace: Rethinking Behavior at Work

The Role of Interests in the Development of Expertise: A Multifactorial Perspective

Burgoyne, Hambrick, & Altmann (2019)

Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

Is Working Memory Capacity a Causal Factor in Fluid Intelligence?

Burgoyne et al. (2019)

The American Journal of Psychology

The Impact of Domain-Specific Experience on Chess Skill: Re-Analysis of a Key Study

Sisk & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Psychological Science

To What Extent and Under Which Circumstances Are Growth Mind-Sets Important to Academic Achievement? Two Meta-Analyses

Hambrick, Burgoyne, & Oswald (2019)

The Oxford Handbook of Expertise

Domain-General Models of Expertise: The Role of Cognitive Ability

Mix et al. (2018)


The Latent Structure of Spatial Skill: A Test of the 2 x 2 Typology

Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Journal of Research in Personality

Analysis of a Mindset Intervention

Hambrick & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences

Toward a Multifactorial Model of Expertise: Beyond Born Versus Made

Hambrick, Altmann, & Burgoyne (2018)

The American Journal of Psychology

A Knowledge-Activation Approach to Testing the Circumvention-of-Limits Hypothesis

Hambrick & Burgoyne et al. (2018)

International Handbook of Thinking and Reasoning

Working Memory, Thinking, and Expertise

Macnamara et al. (2018)

The Science of Expertise

The Deliberate Practice View: An Evaluation of Definitions, Claims, and Empirical Evidence

Sala & Burgoyne et al. (2017)


Checking the “Academic Selection” Argument. Chess Players Outperform Non-Chess Players in Cognitive Skills Related to Intelligence: A Meta-Analysis

Burgoyne et al. (2016)


The Relationship between Cognitive Ability and Chess Skill: A Comprehensive Meta-Analysis

Popular Writing


These programs were developed for E-Prime by Alex Burgoyne.
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