Board games have long fascinated as mirrors of
intelligence, skill, cunning, and wisdom. While board
games have been the topic of many scientific studies,
and have been studied for more than a century by
psychologists, there was until now no single volume
summarizing psychological research into board games.
This book, which is the first systematic study of
psychology and board games, covers topics such as
perception, memory, problem solving and decision making,
development, intelligence, emotions, motivation,
education, and neuroscience. It also briefly summarizes
current research in artificial intelligence aiming at
developing computers playing board games, and critically
discusses how current theories of expertise fare with
board games. Finally, it shows that the information
provided by board game research, both data and theories,
have a wider relevance for the understanding of human
psychology in general.
Part 1: Introduction. Moves in Mind. Board
Games and Cognitive Psychology. The Role of Board Games
in Science. The Role of Board Games in Psychology.
Structure of the Book. Part 2: Formal Analyses of
Board Games. Fundamental Concepts. Board Games in
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.
Information and Complexity Analysis. Game Theory and the
Concept of Error. Conclusion. Part 3: Theories of
Board-game Psychology. A Brief History of Board-game
Psychology. Theories of Chess Skill. Influences from
Other Theories of Cognition. Theories of Development and
Environment. Conclusion. Part 4: Perception and
Categorization. Low-level Perception. High-level
Perception and Categorization. Conclusion. Part 5:
Memory, Knowledge, and Representations. Memory for
Board Positions. Recall of Sequences of Moves and of
Games. Estimation of the Number of Chunks in LTM. Mode
of Representation. Representations Used in Blindfold
Playing. Knowledge and Memory Schemata. Discussion.
Conclusion. Part 6: Problem Solving and Decision
Making. Empirical Data on Search Behaviour.
Empirical Data on the Role of Perception in Problem
Solving. Empirical Data on the Role of Knowledge in
Problem Solving. Analogy Formation in Novice Players.
Theoretical Accounts. Discussion. Conclusion. Part 7:
Learning, Development and Ageing. Early Stages of
Learning. Development of Play and Game Behaviour.
Developmental Studies of Specific Board Games. Ageing.
Conclusion. Part 8: Education and Training.
Introduction. Board Game Instruction and the Transfer of
Skill. Teaching the Rules and Basic Instruction.
Training and Coaching at an Advanced Level. Conclusion. Part
9: Individual Differences and the Neuropsychology of
Talent. Intelligence and Visuo-spatial
Abilities. Personality. Emotions and Motivation. Board
Games and Neuroscience. Overall Conclusion. Part 10:
Methodology and Research Designs. Definitions of
Expertise. Game Specificity. Illiterate Games.
Ecological Validity. Cross-cultural Aspects. The
Creation and Use of Archives and Databases. Observations
and Natural Experiments. Interviews and Questionnaires.
Introspection and Retrospection. Protocol Analysis.
Standard Experimental Manipulations. Neuroscientific
Approaches. Typical Research Designs. Mathematical and
Computational Modelling. Weaknesses and Strengths of
Methodologies Used in Board-game Research. Part 11:
Conclusion. Board Game Complexity. Landscape of
Board Games. Impact of Board-game Research. Future.
References. Appendix 1: Rules of Board Games. Appendix
2: Measures of Expertise in Board Games. Appendix
3: Example of Protocol Analysis.