Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing in Games of Dynamic Equilibrium

SSRN Econometrics: Econometric and Statistical Methods – General eJournal, Vol. 9, Issue 5: Jan 12, 2016 (2016)
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The purpose of this paper is to provide a detailed technical protocol analysis of chess masters' evaluative expertise, paying particular attention to the analysis of the structure of their memory process in evaluating foreseen possibilities in games of dynamic equilibrium. The paper has two purposes. First, to publish a results chapter from my DPhil thesis (in revised journal article form) attending to the measurement of foresight in chess masters' evaluation process, testing alternative theories of cognitive expertise in the domain of chess; and second to provide a subset of the technical graphical analysis that corresponds to that measurement to preserve this protocol analysis for access in the academic domain for future studies of expert memory and foresight (e.g., Ericsson & Simon, 1993). The step-by-step protocol analysis consists of: (i) an introduction to foresight cognition as hypothesis testing, (ii) a theoretical review in the domain of chess masters' expertise according to the theoretical frameworks in that field purporting hypotheses relevant to chess masters' evaluative skill processes, and (iii) summary tables and non-parametric statistical analysis corroborating chunking theory frameworks of expert cognition (e.g., DeGroot, 1965; Newell & Simon, 1972; Gobet, 1998; Gobet et al., 2004), and refuting the alternative search-evaluation models (e.g., Holding & Reynolds, 1982). Moreover, the journal article espouses the preservation of the traditional protocol analysis method core to the field of expert cognition (DeGroot, 1969; Kotov, 1971). The full protocol analysis can be found in monograph form here on my SSRN profile in ‘The role of falsification in hypothesis testing’. It takes the form of a specialist population study (e.g., detailed case study work; Luria, 1987). Thus the outline consists of a short introduction, a theoretical methodological review discussing protocol analysis methods for specialist population studies in cognition (with particular attention to the preservation of protocol analysis methods for chess studies in cognition and expert memory/ with a fresh angle on the foresight process), and the full set of protocol analyses with corresponding problem behaviour graphs. A subset of the main results has been published elsewhere (e.g., Cowley & Byrne, 2004; Cowley 2006), receiving scientific and scientific journalistic acclaim (e.g., Nature Online News 2004).

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