Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing

Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Vol. 26, 2004, Full Paper.

7 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2013 Last revised: 18 Jul 2019

See all articles by Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham

Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham

RSS Fellow 2012; CSLS Centre for Socio-Legal Studies

Ruth Byrne

Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland

Date Written: February 12, 2004

Abstract

Falsification may demarcate science from non-science as the rational way to test the truth of hypotheses. But experimental evidence from studies of reasoning shows that people often find falsification difficult. We suggest that domain expertise may facilitate falsification. We consider new experimental data about chess experts’ hypothesis testing. The results show that chess masters were readily able to falsify their plans. They generated move sequences that falsified their plans more readily than novice players, who tended to confirm their plans. The finding that experts in a domain are more likely to falsify their hypotheses has important implications for the debate about human rationality.

Suggested Citation

Cowley-Cunningham, Michelle B. and Byrne, Ruth, Chess Masters' Hypothesis Testing (February 12, 2004). Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, Vol. 26, 2004, Full Paper., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2339588

Michelle B. Cowley-Cunningham (Contact Author)

RSS Fellow 2012 ( email )

Royal Statistical Society

CSLS Centre for Socio-Legal Studies ( email )

University of Oxford

Ruth Byrne

Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland ( email )

Dublin, D2
Ireland

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