Perception & Psychophysics

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 139–143 | Cite as

Percentage of pupillary dilation as a measure of item difficulty

  • Donald T. Payne
  • Mary Ellen Parry
  • Stefan J. Harasymiw
Article
  • 341 Downloads

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare four measures of difficulty of mental multiplication items: percentage of pupillary dilation, latency of solution, number of correct responses, and judgment of item difficulty. Sixteen multiplication problems, classified into four levels of difficulty, were presented visually to 13 Ss, who verbalized their solutions to the problems. Analyses of variance and correlation coefficients were computed. It was concluded that all four measures of difficulty were useful but that judgment of difficulty and latency of solution were better measures of item difficulty than were the other two. A discussion of pupillary dilation and information processing is included.

References

  1. HESS, E. H., & POLT, J. M. Pupil size in relation to mental activity during simple problem-solving.Science, 1964, 143, 1190–1192.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. KAHNEMAN, D., & BEATTY, J. Pupil diameter and load on memory.Science, 1966, 154, 1583–1585.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. KAHNEMAN, D., & BEATTY, J. Pupillary responses in a pitch-discrimination task.Percept. & Psychophys., 1967, 2, 101–105.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. PAYNE, D. T., PARRY, M. E., & HARASYMIW, S. J. A comparison of percentage of pupillary dilation with other measures of difficulty of mental multiplication items.Research Bulletin 67-42. Princeton, N J.: Educational. Testing Service, 1967.Google Scholar
  5. WINER, B. J.Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1962.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. WOODMANSEE, J. J. Methodological problems in pupillographic experiments. Paper presented at the American Psychological Association, New York, September, 1966.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Journals 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donald T. Payne
    • 1
  • Mary Ellen Parry
    • 1
  • Stefan J. Harasymiw
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Testing ServicePrinceton

Personalised recommendations