Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 539–547 | Cite as

ELF: A new measure of response capture

  • Mathieu Servant
  • Thibault Gajdos
  • Karen Davranche
Theoretical Review


Response capture is a widespread and extensively studied phenomenon, in particular in decision tasks involving response conflict. Its intensity is routinely quantified by conditional accuracy function (CAF). We argue that this method might be misleading, and propose an alternative approach, the error location function (ELF). While CAF provides the error rate by bins of reaction time (RT), ELF represents the share of total errors below each quantile of RT. We derive from ELF an index of response capture, the error location index (ELI), which represents the area below the ELF. Using simulations of computational models, we show that ELF and ELI specifically quantify variations in response capture. Finally, we illustrate the usefulness of ELF and ELI through experimental data and show that ELF and CAF can yield to contradictory conclusions.


Computational models Reaction time analysis Response time models Cognitive control and automaticity 



We thank Andrew Heathcote and two anonymous reviewers for insightful comments.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Aix Marseille University, CNRS, LPCMarseilleFrance

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