Advertisement

The Psychological Record

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 475–482 | Cite as

Effective Analysis of Reaction Time Data

  • Robert Whelan
Article

Abstract

Most analyses of reaction time (RT) data are conducted by using the statistical techniques with which psychologists are most familiar, such as analysis of variance on the sample mean. Unfortunately, these methods are usually inappropriate for RT data, because they have little power to detect genuine differences in RT between conditions. In addition, some statistical approaches can, under certain circumstances, result in findings that are artifacts of the analysis method itself. A corpus of research has shown more effective analytical methods, such as analyzing the whole RT distribution, although this research has had limited influence. The present article will summarize these ad’ances in methods for analyzing RT data.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. BALOTA, D. A., & SPIELER, D. H. (1999). Word frequency, repetition, and lexicality effects in word recognition tasks: Beyond measures of central tendency. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 128, 32–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. BENTALL, R. P., JONES, R. M., & DICKINS, D. W. (1999). Errors and response latencies as a function of nodal distance in 5-member equivalence classes. The Psychological Record, 49, 93–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. DIBBETS, P., MAES, J. H. R., & VOSSEN J. M. H. (2002). Contextual dependencies in a stimulus equivalence paradigm. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55B, 97-119.Google Scholar
  4. FIELDS, L., LANDON-JIMENEZ, D. V., BUFFINGTON, D. M., & ADAMS, B.J. (1995). Maintained nodal distance effects after equivalence class formation. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 64, 129–146.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. GREENWALD, A. G., NOSEK, B. A., & BANAJI, M. R. (2003). Understanding and using the Implicit Association Test I: An improved scoring algorithm. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 197–216.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. HERVEY, A. S., EPSTEIN, J. N., CURRY, J. F., TONEV, S., ARNOLD, L. E., CONNERS, C. K., HINSHAW, S. P., SWANSON, J. M., HECHTMAN, L. (2006). Reaction time distribution analysis of neuropsychological performance in an Adhd sample. Child Neuropsychology, 12, 125–140.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. IMAM, A. A. (2006). Experimental control of nodality via equal presentations of conditional discriminations in different equivalence protocols under speed and no-speed conditions. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 85, 107–124.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. LUCE, R. D. (1986). Response times: Their role in inferring elementary mental organization. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. MCCULLOUGH, B. D., & WILSON, B. (2002). On the accuracy of statistical procedures in Microsoft Excel 2000 and Excel XP. Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, 40, 713–721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. MILLER, J. (1988). A warning about median reaction time. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 14, 539-543.Google Scholar
  11. OSBORNE, J. (2002). Notes on the use of data transformations. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 8(6). Retrieved April 23, 2007, from http://Pareonline.net/
  12. RATCLIFF, R. (1979). Group reaction time distributions and an analysis of distribution statistics. Psychological Bulletin, 86, 446–461.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. RATCLIFF, R. (1993). Methods of dealing with reaction time outliers. Psychological Bulletin, 114, 510–532.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. ROUDER, J. N., LU, J., SPECKMAN, P., SUN, D., & JIANG, Y. (2005). A hierarchical model for estimating response time distributions. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 199–223.Google Scholar
  15. ROUDER, J. N., & SPECKMAN, P. L. (2004). An evaluation of the Vincentizing method of forming group-level response time distributions. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 11, 419–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. ROUDER, J. N., SUN, D., SPECKMAN, P. L., LU, J., & ZHOU, D. (2003). A hierarchical Bayesian statistical framework for skewed variables with an application to response time distributions. Psychometrika, 68, 589–606.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. SPENCER, T. J., & CHASE, P. N. (1996). Speed analyses of stimulus equivalence. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 65, 643–659.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. THORNTON, T. L., & GILDEN, D. L. (2005). Provenance of correlations in psychological data. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 12, 409–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ULRICH, R., & MILLER, J. (1994). Effects of truncation of reaction time analysis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 123, 34–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. VAN ZANDT, T. (2000). How to fit a response time distribution. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 7, 424–465.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. VAN ZANDT, T. (2002). Analysis of response time distributions. In J. T. Wixted (Ed.), Stevens’ handbook of experimental psychology (3rd ed., pp. 461–516). San Diego, CA: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  22. WILCOX, R.R. (1998). How many discoveries have been lost by ignoring modern statistical methods? American Psychologist, 53, 300–314.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Association of Behavior Analysis International 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University College DublinIreland
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatrySt. Vincent’s University HospitalDublin 4Ireland

Personalised recommendations