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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02407

Secret of the Masters: Young Chess Players Show Advanced Visual Perspective Taking

  • 1Research Center for Social Behavior and Developmental Science and Department of Psychology, Shaoxing University, China
  • 2Department of Psychology, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Playing chess requires perspective taking in order to consistently infer the opponent’s next moves. The present study examined whether long-term chess players are more advanced in visual perspective taking tasks than their counterparts without chess training during laboratory visual perspective taking tasks. Visual perspective taking performance was assessed among 11- to 12-year-old experienced chess players (n = 15) and their counterparts without chess training (n = 15) using a dot perspective task. Participants judged their own and the avatar’s visual perspective that were either consistent with each other or not. The results indicated that the chess players out-performed the non-chess players (Experiment 1), yet this advantage disappeared when the task required less executive functioning (Experiment 2). Additionally, unlike the non-chess players whose performance improved in Experiment 2 when the executive function demand was reduced, the chess players did not show better perspective taking under such condition. These findings suggested that long-term chess experience might be associated with children’s more efficient perspective taking of other people's viewpoints without exhausting their cognitive resources.

Keywords: Chess, Visual Perspective Taking, Executive Function, Egocentric bias, altercentric bias

Received: 23 Jan 2019; Accepted: 09 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Gao, Chen, Wang and Lin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Prof. Wei Chen, Shaoxing University, Research Center for Social Behavior and Developmental Science and Department of Psychology, Shaoxing, 312000, Zhejiang Province, China, anti-monist@163.com
Prof. Zhenlin Wang, The Education University of Hong Kong, Department of Psychology, Tai Po, Hong Kong, zlwang@eduhk.hk