Sunday, March 4, 2007

The major blunder in cognitive science, perhaps ever?

COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY 4, 55-61 (1973)

PERCEPTION IN CHESS

WILLIAM G. CHASE AND HERBERT A. SIMON
Carnegie-Mellon University

This paper develops a technique for isolating and studying the perceptual structures that chess players perceive. Three chess players of varying strength - from master to novice - were confronted with two tasks: ( 1) A perception task, where the player reproduces a chess position in plain view, and (2) de Groot’s (1965) short-term recall task, where the player reproduces a chess position after viewing it for 5 sec. The successive glances at the position in the perceptual task and long pauses in tbe memory task were used to segment the structures in the reconstruction protocol. The size and nature of these structures were then analyzed as a function of chess skill.

This study is legendary and has created whole fields, such as "situation awareness", in which you investigate whether experts (say, a jet pilot) are aware of the situation they're in (by, for instance, suddenly blanking out all instruments).

I think this study is, quite bluntly, a non-sequitur.

But hey, this is Chase and Simon 73, and who am I to say that without presenting evidence?

Step forward Mr. Brum!

0 comments: