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Playing chess: A study of the transfer of problem-solving skills in students with average and above average intelligence

This 1992 dissertation was designed to test whether students who developed problem solving skills in one domain were able to transfer the skills to another domain. Eight Indiana seventh grade students participated in an in-school chess intervention and their performance on the mathematics and reading subtests of the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS) was evaluated in relation to that of 10 students who did not participate in the chess intervention. Using ANOVA to compare the two groups’ performance, the author found effect sizes of 0.169 in mathematics and 0.143 in reading. However, the results were statistically insignificant suggesting no difference between treatment and control students. This study was eligible for inclusion in the systematic literature review and categorized as a Tier III study. Students were not randomly selected for participation in the chess intervention, nor were treatment and control students matched on student characteristics in order to control for differences in the groups.