Cognitive organization in chess: Beyond chunking
Berger, Robert Christopher
Lane, David M.; Cooke, Nancy J.
Master of Arts
Three experiments investigated cognitive organization in chess. The conventional view of perception in chess is the recognition-association model which emphasizes perceptual chunking as a basis for expertise. These experiments explored an alternative hypothesis that a higher level cognitive organizing process allows experts to integrate and perceive a position as a whole, rather than merely as a collection of perceptual chunks. In the first two experiments, subjects were presented with chess positions and high level descriptions of those positions either before or after position presentation. In both experiments, recall in the description-before condition was superior, supporting the importance of a higher level cognitive organization. The third experiment contrasted recall of positions presented by chunk with positions presented by pawn structure. Results showed recall was similar in the two conditions, again lending support to the idea that more than chunking is involved in the expert's perception and recall of a chess position.