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Teaching Children To Play Chess Found To Decrease Risk Aversion

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A trio of researchers from Monash University and Deakin University has found that teaching children to play chess can reduce their aversion to risk. In their paper published in Journal of Development Economics, Asad Islam, Wang-Sheng Lee and Aaron Nicholas describe studying the impact of learning chess on 400 children in the U.K. The researchers found that most of the children experienced a decrease in risk aversion in a variety of game playing scenarios. They also noticed that playing chess also led to better math scores for some of the students and improvements in logic or rational thinking.

The researchers note that the game of chess is very well suited to building confidence in risk taking when there is reason to believe it might improve an outcome. In contrast, students also learned to avoid taking risks haphazardly, finding that such risks rarely lead to a positive outcome. They […] line between good and poor risk-taking is especially evident in chess, which means that the more a person plays, the sharper their skills become. The researchers also found that the skills learned during chess playing appeared to be long lasting — most of the children retained their decrease in risk aversion a full year after the end of their participation in the study. The researchers […] did not find any evidence of changes in other cognitive skills, such as improvements in grades other than math or general creativity.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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