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Expertise or accomplishment in any field; specifically, any complex, organized pattern of behaviour acquired through training and practice, including cognitive skills such as mathematics or chess, perceptual skills such as radar monitoring, motor skills such as juggling, and social skills such as non-verbal communication. Research into skills can be traced at least as far back as 1820, when the German astronomer Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (1784–1846) studied the accuracy of difficult astronomical observations requiring judgements of duration (see personal equation). In the latter half of the 19th and the early decades of the 20th century investigations continued into how people learn Morse code, typing, and other skills, and research gained considerable momentum during the Second World War with the development of radar, advanced military aircraft, and sophisticated weapon systems, which presented human operators with difficult problems of learning and performance. Since the 1970s, research on skills has been further stimulated by the rise of sport psychology and increased concern about skilled aspects of social interaction. See also mirror neuron, motor skills disorder, perceptual-motor skill, social skill, social skills training, specific disorder of arithmetic skills. [From Old Norse skil distinction, from skilja to separate]

Subjects: Psychology.

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