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Title: Templates in chess memory: A mechanism for recalling several boards
Authors: Gobet, F
Simon, HA
Keywords: Chunking theory;Template theory;Expertise;Chess;Short-term memory;Chunk;Recall;Multiple boards;Single subject design;Retrieval structures;Template;Simon;Chase;Ericsson;Interfering tasks;Level of processing;Cooke;Frey;Adesman;Schema;Variable;Slot;High level description;Memory;Ericsson;Kintsch;Long-term working memory
Issue Date: 1996
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Cognitive Psychology, 31(1): 1-40, Aug 1996
Abstract: This paper addresses empirically and theoretically a question derived from the chunking theory of memory (Chase & Simon, 1973): To what extent is skilled chess memory limited by the size of short-term memory (about 7 chunks)? This question is addressed first with an experiment where subjects, ranking from class A players to grandmasters, are asked to recall up to 5 positions presented during 5 seconds each. Results show a decline of percentage of recall with additional boards, but also show that expert players recall more pieces than is predicted by the chunking theory in its original form. A second experiment shows that longer latencies between the presentation of boards facilitate recall. In a third experiment, a Chessmaster gradually increases the number of boards he can reproduce with higher than 70% average accuracy to nine, replacing as many as 160 pieces correctly. To account for the results of these experiments, a revision of the Chase-Simon theory is proposed. It is suggested that chess players, like experts in other recall tasks, use long-term memory retrieval structures (Chase & Ericsson, 1982) or templates in addition to chunks in STM, to store information rapidly.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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