Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Volume 19 Issue 2 (March 2005), Pages 145-241

Monitoring accuracy and self‐regulation when learning to play a chess endgame (pages 167-181)


In order to examine the effect of monitoring and self‐regulation on skill acquisition, the present study asked novice chess players to provide judgments of learning (JOLs) and to select moves for restudy after studying an endgame of chess. In four groups, we varied the JOL instruction (present versus absent) and the selection instruction (free number of move selections versus selection of at least two moves per chess exercise). After four learning trials, participants were required to play against a chess computer. In the learning phase, participants who were forced to select moves for restudy outperformed those who were free to select moves for restudy when predicting the next computer move, even after controlling for the actual number of restudied moves. Although the groups that did provide JOLs showed better self‐regulatory behaviour, there were no or even negative performance differences between the groups that did provide JOLs and the groups that did not provide JOLs. This same pattern emerged in the test phase: Although no differences were found between the groups with and without JOLs, the groups that were forced to select moves for restudy outperformed the groups that were free in the number of move selections. These data show that, for novice chess players, the instruction to provide JOLs possibly places a high and ineffective load on working memory and therefore has no effect on learning a chess endgame. To examine the relation between prior knowledge and quality of self‐regulation, further research is needed that examines the effect of the JOL and selection instruction in groups that differ in chess experience. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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