Fernand GOBET

Professor of Decision Making and Expertise

 

Psychological Sciences

 

 

I'll be running the Liverpool Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

(42.195 km / 26 miles 385 yards)

on May 28th 2017,

fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Please support me!

 

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Fernand-Gobet-2

 

                  

                                                                           

   

 

Psychological Sciences

Eleanor Rathbone Building, office 2.57
Bedford Street South

University of Liverpool

Liverpool L69 7ZA
United Kingdom

Email: fernand.gobet *at* liv.ac.uk

Phone: +44-151-794-6936

 

 

 

 

 

Latest book

Gobet, F. (2015). Understanding expertise: A multidisciplinary approach. London: Palgrave.

 

 

 

PhD Opportunities

Please contact me if you are interested in doing a PhD in my current domains of research, including:

  • Psychology of expertise
  • Computational modelling with the CHREST architecture
  • Modelling the acquisition of syntax and/or vocabulary
  • Foundations of computational modelling
  • Use of artificial-intelligence techniques for semi-automatically developing scientific theories

Recent Research Funding

Economic and Social Research Council (2014-2019). The International Centre for Language and Communicative Development (LuCiD). With Elena Lieven and others (£9mio)Economic and Social Research Council (2013-2014). Automatic generation of scientific theories. With Mark Addis and Peter Lane (£300,000).

Economic and Social Research Council (2012-2015). Developing a psychologically realistic generalisation mechanism within MOSAIC. With Julian Pine and Daniel Freudenthal. (£397,867).

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2012). Risk, trust and relationships in an ageing society. With Mary Gilhooly and others (£27,5100).

British Academy (2010-2012). Cognitive models of problem gambling: Testing the implicit-learning hypothesis. (£83,447)

 

Curriculum Vitae

Degrees

MA in Psychology, 1986 University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Thesis : "Influence of uncontrollability on chess problem solving" (in French)

Ph. D. in Psychology, 1992 University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Thesis : "The memories of a chessplayer" (in French)

Appointments held

2013-present. Professor of Cognitive Psychology. Psychological Sciences, University of Liverpool.

2012-present. Research Associate, Centre for Philosophy of Natural & Social Science, London School of Economics

2003-2012. Professor of Cognitive Psychology. School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.

2000-2003. Allan Standen Reader in Intelligent Systems. ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training, School of Psychology, University of Nottingham.

1998-2000. Senior Research Fellow / Lecturer. ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training, Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham.

1996-98. Research Fellow / Lecturer. ESRC Centre for Research in Development, Instruction and Training, Department of Psychology, University of Nottingham.

1992-95. Post-doctoral fellow, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA.

1990-91. Visiting Researcher, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh PA.

1987-89. Research assistant, Department of Psychology, University of Fribourg (Switz.)

1981-89. Co-editor of the Swiss Chess Review.


Research interests

My research spans cognitive science, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, artificial intelligence, education, and philosophy. It is centred around the development of the CHREST (Chunks Hierarchies and REtrieval STructures) architecture. CHREST has been applied to chess expertise, concept formation, the acquisition of multiple diagrammatic representations, and the acquisition of syntax and of vocabulary. I’m also interested in the methodology of developing computational models.

I'm trying to understand the mechanisms underlying the acquisition of expertise, with a special focus on learning, memory, perception and attention processes in skilled individuals. This interest in understanding expertise has also led me to research teaching and training methods in education.

More recent research includes the cognitive science of religion, problem gambling and scientific discovery.

My research uses experimental investigations, computer simulations, and theoretical investigations.

 

Psychology of expertise

This project of studying expertise under its various aspects has been carried out in collaboration with the late Herbert Simon (Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh) and Adriaan de Groot (University of Groningen), as well as with several former PhD students (Guillermo Campitelli, Merim Bilalic, Philippe Chassy and Giovanni Sala). The goal is to understand the acquisition of (chess) expertise, with a special focus on learning, memory, perception and attention processes in skilled individuals. It has included experimental investigations, brain imaging, computer simulations, and theoretical work. In collaboration with Peter Lane, I've extended this approach to the study of memory for computer programs.

Chess expertise

 

Main publications

 

Books

 

Articles

  • Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2015). Risk taking in adversarial situations: Civilization differences in chess experts. Cognition, 141, 36-40. pdf

  • Gobet, F. & Ereku, M. (2014). Checkmate to deliberate practice: The case of Magnus Carlsen. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00878 pdf

  • Hambrick, D. Z., Altmann, E. M., Oswald, F. L., Meinz, E. J., & Gobet, F. (2014). Facing facts about deliberate practice. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00751  pdf

  • Hambrick, D. Z., Altmann, E. M., Oswald, F. L., Meinz, E. J., Gobet, F., & Campitelli, G. (2014). Accounting for expert performance: The devil is in the details. Intellligence, 45, 112-114. pdf

  • Hambrick, D. Z., Oswald, F. L., Altmann, E. M., Meinz, E. J., Gobet, F., & Campitelli, G. (2014). Deliberate practice: Is that all it takes to become an expert? Intellligence, 45, 34–45. pdf

  • Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2013). Visual search in ecological and non-ecological displays: Evidence for a non-monotonic effect of complexity on performance.PLoS ONE, 8, e53420. pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2013). Expertise vs. talent. Talent Development and Excellence, 5, 59-70.  pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2013). Chunks and templates in semantic long-term memory: The importance of specialization. In J. Staszewski (Ed.), Expertise and skill acquisition: The impact of William G. Chase. New York, NY: Psychology Press. pdf

  • Guida, A., Gobet, F. & Nicolas, S. (2013). Functional cerebral reorganization: A signature of expertise? Reexamining Guida, Gobet, Tardieu, and Nicolas’ (2012) two-stage framework. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 590. pdf

  • Wright, M. J., Gobet, F., Chassy, P., & Ramchandani, P. N. (2013). ERP to chess stimuli reveal expert-novice differences in the amplitudes of N2 and P3 components. Psychophysiology, 50, 1023-1033.  pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2012). Deliberate practice and its role in expertise development. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. New York, NY: Springer. pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2012). Development of expertise. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. New York, NY: Springer. pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2012). Concepts without intuition lose the game: Commentary on Montero and Evans (2011). Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 11,237-250.  pdf

  • Guida, A., Gobet, F., Tardieu H., & Nicolas, S. (2012). How chunks, retrieval structures and templates offer a cognitive explanation for neuroimaging data on expertise acquisition: A two-stage framework. Brain and Cognition, 79, 221-244. pdf

  • Lane, P. C. R., & Gobet, F. (2012). CHREST models of implicit learning and board game interpretation. In J. Bach, B. Goertzel, & M. Iklé (Eds.): Artificial General Intelligence - 5th International Conference, AGI 2012. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 7716, pp. 148-157. London, UK: Springer-Verlag.pdf

  • Campitelli, G. & Gobet, F. (2011). Deliberate practice: Necessary but not sufficient. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 280-285. pdf  

  • Campitelli, G., & Gobet, F. (2011). El rol de la edad, la práctica y la lateralidad en la adquisición de habilidades expertas [The role of age, practice and handedness in the acquisition of expert skills]. Psicologia del Desarrollo,1, 29-38.

  • Gobet, F. (2011). Deliberate or uncontrolled practice? Commentary on Deslauriers et al. (2011). Unpublished manuscript. pdf

  • Gobet, F. (2011). Psychologie du talent et de l’expertise. Paris: De Boeck.

  • Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2011). A hypothesis about the biological basis of expert intuition. Review of General Psychology, 15, 198-212. pdf

  • Lane, P. C. R. & Gobet, F. (2011). Perception in chess and beyond: Commentary on Linhares and Freitas (2010). New Ideas in Psychology, 29, 156-161. pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Borg, J. L. (2011). The intermediate effect in clinical case recall is present in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. Manual Therapy, 16, 327-331.

  • Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2011). Measuring chess experts’ single-use sequence knowledge using departure from ‘theoretical’ openings: An archival study.PLoS ONE, 6(11): e26692. pdf

  • Bilalić, M., McLeod, P., & Gobet, F. (2010). The mechanism of the Einstellung (set) effect: A pervasive source of cognitive bias. Current Directions of Psychological Science, 19, 111-115. pdf

  • Chassy, P. & Gobet, F. (2010). Speed of expertise acquisition depends upon inherited factors. Talent Development and Excellence, 2, 17-27. pdf

  • Campitelli, G. & Gobet, F. (2010). Herbert Simon’s decision-making approach: Investigation of cognitive processes in experts. Review of General Psychology, 14, 354-364. pdf

 

All publications on expertise


Computational modelling

I believe that many theories in psychology are not expressed rigorously enough,  which means that they are not testable. The best way to avoid this problem is to express theories as mathematical or computational models, and I have used the latter extensively in my research. In addition to models of expert behaviour (see above) and acquisition of language (see below), I have also developed models of concept formation, knowledge representation in law, development and ageing. In particular with Peter Lane, I have also developed new methods for developing computer modelling. Most of my modelling works uses the CHREST (Chunk Hierarchy and REtrieval STructures) cognitive architecture, which I originally developed with Herbert Simon and now am extending with Peter Lane. CHREST started as a model of chess expertise, but has now been applied to a number of domains from language acquisition to diagrammatic reasoning. In a different line of research, I have also used evolutionary computation for automatically developing computational theories.

Main publications

                

Methodology

  • Gobet, F., Lane, P.C.R, & Lloyd-Kelly, M. (2015). Chunks, schemata and retrieval structures: Past and current computational models. Frontiers in Psychology.

  • Lane, P. C. R., & Gobet, F. (2013). Evolving non-dominated parameter sets for computational models from multiple experiments.Journal of Artificial General Intelligence, 4, 1, 1–30. pdf

  • Lane, P.C.R., & Gobet, F. (2012). A theory-driven testing methodology for developing scientific software. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence. pdf

 

CHREST

  • Lloyd-Kelly, M., Gobet, F., & Lane, P.C.R. (2015). Piece of mind: Long-term memory structure in ACT-R and CHREST.Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. pdf

  • Lloyd-Kelly, M., Gobet, F., & Lane, P.C.R. (2015). The art of balance: Problem-solving vs. pattern-recognition. 7th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART). pdf

    Lloyd-Kelly, M., Lane, P.C.R., & Gobet, F. (2014). The effects of bounding rationality on the performance and learning of CHREST agents in Tileworld. In M. Bramer and M. Petridis (Eds.), Proceedings of AI-2014: Thirty-fourth SGAI International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (pp.149-162). London: Springer. pdf

    Bossomaier, T.,  Traish, J., Gobet, F, &  Lane P. C. R. (2012).  Neuro-cognitive model of move location in the game of Go. International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN 2012). pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Lane, P. C. R. (2012). Chunking mechanisms and learning. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. New York, NY: Springer. pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Lane, P. C. R. (2012). Learning in the CHREST cognitive architecture. In N. M. Seel (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the sciences of learning. New York, NY: Springer. pdf

  • Lane, P. C. R., & Gobet, F. (2012). Using chunks to categorise chess positions. In M. Bramer and M. Petridis (Eds.), Research and Development in Intelligent Systems XXIX: Proceedings of AI-2012, The Thirty-Second SGAI International Conference on Innovative Techniques and Applications of Artificial Intelligence, pp. 93-106, London, UK: Springer-Verlag. pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Lane, P. C. R. (2010). The CHREST architecture of cognition: The role of perception in general intelligence. In Baum, E., Hutter, M., & Kitzelmann, E. (Eds), Proceedings of the Third Conference on Artificial General Intelligence (pp. 7-12). Amsterdam: Atlantis Press. pdf

 

 

All publications on the methodology of modelling

 

All publications on CHREST

 


Modelling the acquisition of syntactic categories

This research represents an attempt to model the child's acquisition of syntactic categories. The aim of the project is to build a distributional learning mechanism that is not only capable of constructing grammatical categories, but also of doing so in a way that is consistent with recent findings in the developmental literature on the sequencing of grammatical category acquisition. In addition, this project aims at studying extensions of Simon and Feigenbaum's EPAM model, such as production system and semantic network capacities, and at applying this framework to the study of cognitive development.

Modelling the acquisition of syntactic categories

 

  • Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., Jones, G. & Gobet, F. (2015). Defaulting effects contribute to the simulation of cross-linguistic  differences in Optional Infinitive errors. Proceedings of the 37th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. pdf

  • Freudenthal, D., Pine, J., Jones, G., & Gobet, F. (2015). Simulating the cross-linguistic pattern of Optional Infinitive errors in children's declaratives and Wh- questions. Cognition, 143, 61-76. pdf

  • Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., Jones, G. & Gobet, F. (2013). Frequent frames, flexible frames and the noun-verb asymmetry. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. pdf

  • Pine, J. M., Freudenthal, D., Krajewski, G., & Gobet, F. (2013). Do young children have adult-like syntactic categories? Zipf's law and the case of the determiner. Cognition,127, 345-360. pdf

  • Freudenthal, D., Pine, J. M., & Gobet, F. (2010). Explaining quantitative variation in the rate of Optional Infinitive errors across languages: A comparison of MOSAIC and the Variational Learning Model. Journal of Child Language, 37, 643-669. pdf

 

All publications on syntactic development


Modelling vocabulary acquisition

This research represents an attempt to model vocabulary acquisition in children. A computational model, based on Feigenbaum and Simon's EPAM theory of perception and learning, is being developed. The intention is to model both how new words are acquired and the relative distributions of categories of words acquired. In collaboration with Gary Jones and Julian Pine.

Modelling the acquisition of vocabulary

 

  • Gobet, F. (2015). Vocabulary acquisition. In James D. Wright (Ed.), International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences, 2nd edition, Vol 25 (pp. 226–231). Oxford: Elsevier.

  • Jones, G., Gobet, F., Freudenthal, D., Watson, S., & Pine, J. (2014). Why computational models are better than verbal theories: The case of nonword repetition. Developmental Science, 17, 298–310. pdf

  • Tamburelli, M., Jones, G., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (2012). Computational modelling of phonological acquisition: Simulating error patterns in nonword repetition tasks. Language and Cognitive Processes, 27, 901-946. pdf 

  • Jones, G., Tamburelli, M., Watson, S. E., Gobet, F., & Pine, J. M. (2010). Lexicality and frequency in Specific Language Impairment: Accuracy and error data from two non-word repetition tests. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 53, 1642-1655. pdf

 

            All publications on vocabulary development

 


Education

As a natural consequence of my interests in expertise and learning, I have also carried out research on education. Earlier in my career, I carried out investigations on programming in Logo, and later have also done some work on reading (in particular on reading in Thai). More recently, I have been interested in education and training in chess, and also in showing what chunking mechanisms can tell us about instruction methods.

 

Main publications

  • Sala, G., Gobet, F., Trinchero, R., & Ventura, S. (2016). Does chess instruction enhance mathematical ability in children? A three-group design to control for placebo effects. Proceedings of the 38th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

  • Sala, G., & Gobet, F. (2016). Do the benefits of chess instruction transfer to academic and cognitive skills? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review.

  • Gobet, F. (2015). Cognitive aspects of learning in formal and non-formal contexts: Lessons from expertise research. British Journal of Educational Psychology, Monograph Series II: Number 11, Learning beyond the Classroom, 23–37.

  • Gobet, F. & Campitelli, G. (2012). I benefici educativi dell’istruzione scacchistica: Una revisione critica.  In G. Sgrò (Ed.), A scuola con i Re: Educare e rieducare attraverso il gioco degli scacchi (pp. 85-106). Rome: Alpes Italia.

  • Gobet, F. (2012). Developing systemic theories requires formal methods. Commentary on Ziegler & Phillipson (2012). High Ability Studies, 23, 61-63. pdf


 

            All publications on education

 

 


Cognitive science of religion

  •  Yousaf, O. & Gobet, F. (in press). The effect of personal attitudes on information processing biases in religious individuals. Journal of Cognitive Psychology.

  • Russell, Y. I., Gobet, F., & Whitehouse, H. (2016). Mood, expertise, analogy and ritual: An experiment using the five-disc Tower of Hanoi. Religion, Brain and Behavior, 6, 67-87.

  • Russell, Y. I., & Gobet, F. (2013). What is counterintuitive? Religious cognition and natural expectation. The Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 4, 715-749. pdf

  • Yousaf, O., & Gobet, F. (2013). The emotional and attitudinal consequences of religious hypocrisy: Experimental evidence using a cognitive dissonance paradigm. The Journal of Social Psychology, 153, 667-686. pdf

  • Russell, Y.I., Dunbar, R. I. M., & Gobet, F. (2011). Euphoria versus dysphoria: Differential cognitive roles in religion? In Masmoudi, S., Naceur, A., & Dai, D. Y. (Eds.). Attention, representation and performance: Integration of cognition, emotion and motivation (pp. 147-165). New York: Psychology Press.

 


 

Problem gambling

  • Gobet, F. & Schiller, M. (Editors) (2014). Problem gambling: Cognition, prevention and treatment. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Schiller, M. & Gobet, F. (2014). Introduction. In M. Schiller & F. Gobet (Eds.), Problem gambling: Cognition, prevention and treatment. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Schiller, M. & Gobet, F. (2014). Cognitive models of gambling and problem gambling. In M. Schiller & F. Gobet, (Eds.), Problem gambling: Cognition, prevention and treatment. Houndmills, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

  • Schiller, M., & Gobet, F. (2012). A comparison between cognitive and AI models of blackjack strategy learning. KI 2012: 35th German Conference on Artificial Intelligence. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 7526, pp. 143-155. London, UK: Springer-Verlag. pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Schiller (Eds.). Proceedings of the 2011 London Workshop on Problem Gambling – Abstracts. London, UK: Brunel University. pdf

  • Gobet, F., & Schiller, M. (2011). A manifesto for cognitive models of problem gambling. Proceedings of the European Cognitive Science Conference 2011.pdf

 

 


 

Scientific Discovery

  • Sozou, P. D., Lane, P.C., Addis, M., & Gobet, F. (in press). Computational scientific discovery. In L. Magnani & T. Bertolotti (Eds),Springer handbook of model-based science. New York: Springer.

  • Addis, M., Sozou P. D., Lane, P., & Gobet, F. (2016). Computational scientific discovery and cognitive science theories. In V. Müller V. (Ed.) Computing and Philosophy: Selected Papers from IACAP 2014 (pp. 83-97). Synthese Library. Berlin: Springer.

  • Addis, M., Gobet, F., Lane, P., & Sozou, P. (Editors) (2014).Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary Convention of the AISB: Computational Scientific Discovery Symposium. London: AISB.

  • Addis, M., Gobet, F., Lane, P. & Sozou, P. (2014). Computational scientific discovery. In M. Addis, F. Gobet, P. Lane, & P. Sozou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary Convention of the AISB: Computational Scientific Discovery Symposium. London: AISB. pdf

  • Lane, P., Sozou, P., Addis, M., & Gobet, F. (2014). Evolving process-based models from psychological data using genetic programming. In M. Addis, F. Gobet, P. Lane, & P. Sozou (Eds.), Proceedings of the 50th Anniversary Convention of the AISB: Computational Scientific Discovery Symposium. London: AISB.  pdf

 


Last modified: 02/05/2017