Components of Skill in Bridge*

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Abstract

Twenty bridge players ranging in skill from novice to life master were given bridge-related tasks: planning the play of a contract, rapid bidding, incidental learning, and recall of briefly presented bridge hands which were structured or randomly arranged. Performance on all tasks, except for memory for randomly arranged hands, was strongly correlated with skill level. For some memory tasks, performance was negatively correlated with age. These results were interpreted as support for the hypothesis that skilled problem solving in bridge depends on the possession of a large vocabulary of recognizable patterns which are associated with appropriate actions. This hypothesis is compatible with those advanced to account for skill in chess (Chase & Simon, 1973) and skill in GO (Reitman, 1976).

Vingt joueurs de bridge (débutants et experts) ont à accomplir des tâches reliées au bridge: planification d'un contrat, enchère rapide, apprentissage incident, rappel de jeux structurés ou aléatoires. Les résultats montrent que, en toutes ces tâches (excepté dans le rappel de jeux aléatoires), le rendement est lié à l'habileté. Dans quelques tâches de mémoire, le rendement est négativement lié à l'âge. Ces résultats confirmeraient l'hypothèse voulant que l'habileté au bridge dépend de la possession d'un large vocabulaire des patterns reconnaissables associés aux actions appropriées. Cette hypothèse est compatible avec les hypothèses déjà faites sur l'habileté au jeu d'échecs.

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