Contemporary Psychology, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2019, 53-65

Original scientific paper

The Effect of Reverse Perspective and Player’s Rating on Flexible Thinking in Chess

Marko Antolčić - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar
Pavle Valerjev - Department of Psychology, University of Zadar, Zadar

Fulltext (croatian, pages 53-65).pdf

The Einstellung effect (E-effect) is described in the psychology of chess as a mental set that makes chess players inflexible to optimize chess tactics when a familiar solution is present. The perception of experienced chess players allows quick pattern recognition among chess figures by grouping them into configurations with the quick finding of a familiar solution as a result. The so-called fast mechanism has a main role in this process, such as recognition, while finding the optimal solution in the same situation requires a more prominent slower mechanism, such as field search. The reverse perspective (RP) of chess position might be the technique that could affect this slower mechanism activation. In a situation where the fast mechanism is ineffective, a perceptively vague position, caused by RP, may activate a different approach in establishing relationships among figures. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of the RP on the reduction of E-effect, and to determine the rating influence on the E-effect. Experiment subjects were chess club players (N = 26) with a national chess rating who were to solve a set of chess problems with a manipulated perspective. The perspective and rating effect were investigated regarding the frequency of optimal solution, decision time, time and number of fixation on the fields relevant for the Einstellung solution and the confidence level. The results indicate that the reverse perspective did not have any effect on a series of dependent variables, while the sequence of presented problems showed impact on decision time. It was also found that more experienced chess players resolve an optimal solution more often and had a higher level of confidence. The player’s rating shows the strongest effect on flexible thinking in chess.

chess, reverse perspective, player’s rating, Einstellung effect, flexible thinking

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