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
Date Written: February 12, 2004
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.
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