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Identification and Conceptualization of Procedural Chunks in Chess
Abstract and Figures
When it comes to cognitive architecture and human information processing, chunks are one of the best known and most recognized constructs. Nevertheless, the nature of chunks is still very elusive, especially when it comes to chunks in procedural knowledge. This study deals with basic features of procedural information processing and examines the manifestation of chunks in procedural knowledge. The participants' task was to reconstruct sequences of chess moves. Chess was chosen as an experimental domain, because of its complexity, well-defined rules and standardized measure of chess player strength. From the results we conclude that short-term memory capacity is determined by the combination of the size and amount of procedural chunks recalled to the short-term memory. We have shown that on average, participants with more specialized knowledge operated faster and with larger chunks of procedural information than participants with less specialized knowledge. We have shown that in procedural information processing, the level of expertise and the sorting order of the retrieved information are important factors that influence the amount of procedural chunks retained in the short-term memory. Therefore, the capacity of short-term memory in complex situations cannot be expressed as a simple concept.
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