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Analysis of response time distributions: an example using the stroop task


Heathcote, A and Popiel, SJ and Mewhort, DJK, Analysis of response time distributions: an example using the stroop task, Psychological Bulletin, 109, (2) pp. 340-347. ISSN 0033-2909 (1991) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1037/0033-2909.109.2.340


The shape of a response time (RT) distribution can be described by a 3-parameter model consisting of the convolution of the normal and exponential distributions, the ex-Gaussian. Analyses based on mean RT do not take the distribution's shape into account and, for that reason may obscure aspects of performance. To illustrate the point, the ex-Gaussian mode) was applied to data obtained, from a Stroop task. Mean RT revealed strong interference but no facilitation, whereas the analysis based on the ex-Gaussian model showed bath interference and facilitation. In short, analyses that do not take the shape of RT distributions into account can mislead and, therefore, should be avoided.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:99775
Year Published:1991
Web of Science® Times Cited:372
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2015-04-09
Last Modified:2015-05-11

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