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

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

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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) ( = 0.24), comprehension-knowledge (Gc) ( = 0.22), short-term memory (Gsm) ( = 0.25), and processing speed (Gs) ( = 0.24); the meta-analytic average of the correlations was ( = 0.24). Moreover, the correlation between Gf and chess skill was moderated by age ( = 0.32 for youth samples vs. = 0.11 for adult samples), and skill level ( = 0.32 for unranked samples vs. = 0.14 for ranked samples). Interestingly, chess skill correlated more strongly with numerical ability ( = 0.35) than with verbal ability ( = 0.19) or visuospatial ability ( = 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.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Elsevier
Copyright: © 2016 Elsevier Inc.
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