The abstract is really unimpressive. The effect was not statistically significant. Was it even positive?* It is only by throwing out games lost on time that they find improved performance. Systematically throwing out games lost and finding a lot of games won is a standard error. Did it improve the moves they made, or did it cause them just to ruminate on lost games? They could have tested this, asking computers how good the moves were, but I don't think that they did. Even if the moves were better, was it because of the drugs, or because of the additional ... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

Addendum: Stimulants mess with your sense of time. Time management is an important part of playing chess, but surely players don't do it by looking at the clock, but by heuristics about how much to think, heuristics that could be messed up by their sense of time. So I think that the time management would be improved by practice with the drugs. Most chess players probably have practice at varying levels of caffeine, so the study is a more fair comparison of that drug than the others.

Added later: Indeed, caffeine lead to fewer losses on time than modafinil ... (Read more)(Click to expand thread. ⌘F to Expand All)Cmd/Ctrl F to expand all comments on this post

1WhySpace_duplicate0.92616921290755273y I'm worried that I found the study far more convincing than I should have. If I recall, it was something like "this would be awesome if it replicates. Regression toward the mean suggests the effect size will shrink, but still." This thought didn't stop me from still updating substantially, though. I remember being vaguely annoyed at them just throwing out the timeout losses, but didn't discard the whole thing after reading that. Perhaps I should have. I know about confirmation bias and p-hacking and half a dozen other such things, but none of that stopped me from overupdating on evidence I wanted to believe. So, thanks for your comment.

new study finds performance enhancing drugs for chess

by morganism 3y27th Jan 201714 comments

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