Title

The relationship between cognitive ability and chess skill: A comprehensive meta-analysis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Elsevier

School

School of Arts and Humanities

RAS ID

22627

Comments

Originally published as:

Burgoyne, A. P., Sala, G., Gobet, F., Macnamara, B. N., Campitelli, G., & Hambrick, D. Z. (2016). The relationship between cognitive ability and chess skill: a comprehensive meta-analysis. Intelligence, 59, 72-83.

Original available here

Abstract

Why are some people more skilled in complex domains than other people? Here, we conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate the relationship between cognitive ability and skill in chess. Chess skill correlated positively and significantly with fluid reasoning (Gf) (r =0.24), comprehension-knowledge (Gc) (r =0.22), short-term memory (Gsm) (r =0.25), and processing speed (Gs) (r =0.24); the meta-analytic average of the correlations was (r = 0.24). Moreover, the correlation between Gf and chess skillwasmoderated by age (r=0.32 for youth samples vs. r =0.11 for adult samples), and skill level (r =0.32 for unranked samples vs. r =0.14 for ranked samples). Interestingly, chess skill correlated more strongly with numerical ability (r = 0.35) than with verbal ability (r = 0.19) or visuospatial ability (r =0.13). The results suggest that cognitive ability contributes meaningfully to individual differences in chess skill, particularly in young chess players and/or at lower levels of skill.

DOI

10.1016/j.intell.2016.08.002

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