Chess - Psychology

Psychology

There is an extensive scientific literature on chess psychology. Alfred Binet and others showed that knowledge and verbal, rather than visuospatial, ability lies at the core of expertise. In his doctoral thesis, Adriaan de Groot showed that chess masters can rapidly perceive the key features of a position. According to de Groot, this perception, made possible by years of practice and study, is more important than the sheer ability to anticipate moves. De Groot showed that chess masters can memorize positions shown for a few seconds almost perfectly. The ability to memorize does not alone account for chess-playing skill, since masters and novices, when faced with random arrangements of chess pieces, had equivalent recall (about half a dozen positions in each case). Rather, it is the ability to recognize patterns, which are then memorized, which distinguished the skilled players from the novices. When the positions of the pieces were taken from an actual game, the masters had almost total positional recall.

More recent research has focused on chess as mental training; the respective roles of knowledge and look-ahead search; brain imaging studies of chess masters and novices; blindfold chess; the role of personality and intelligence in chess skill; gender differences; and computational models of chess expertise. The role of practice and talent in the development of chess and other domains of expertise has led to a lot of research recently. Ericsson and colleagues have argued that deliberate practice is sufficient for reaching high levels of expertise in chess. Recent research indicates that factors other than practice are also important. For example, Fernand Gobet and colleagues have shown that stronger players started playing chess at a young age and that experts born in the Northern Hemisphere are more likely to have been born in late winter and early spring. Chess players are more likely to be non-right-handed, though they found no correlation between handedness and skill.

Read more about this topic:  Chess

Famous quotes containing the word psychology:

    A large part of the popularity and persuasiveness of psychology comes from its being a sublimated spiritualism: a secular, ostensibly scientific way of affirming the primacy of “spirit” over matter.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933)

    Psychology has nothing to say about what women are really like, what they need and what they want, essentially because psychology does not know.... this failure is not limited to women; rather, the kind of psychology that has addressed itself to how people act and who they are has failed to understand in the first place why people act the way they do, and certainly failed to understand what might make them act differently.
    Naomi Weisstein, U.S. psychologist, feminist, and author. Psychology Constructs the Female (1969)

    Whatever else American thinkers do, they psychologize, often brilliantly. The trouble is that psychology only takes us so far. The new interest in families has its merits, but it will have done us all a disservice if it turns us away from public issues to private matters. A vision of things that has no room for the inner life is bankrupt, but a psychology without social analysis or politics is both powerless and very lonely.
    Joseph Featherstone (20th century)