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Speed–Accuracy Tradeoff

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Definition

The complex relationship between an individual’s willingness to respond slowly and make relatively fewer errors compared to their willingness to respond quickly and make relatively more errors is described as the speed–accuracy tradeoff.

Current Knowledge

In experimental studies of human performance, both the speed at which an individual completes a task and the accuracy of their response rates are important considerations in methodological study design as well as in the interpretation of findings. Ideally, an individual attempts to maximize performance on both factors. In some situations, however, an individual may increase his or her response time at the cost of reducing the accuracy of his or her responses, while in other situations an individual may find it necessary to slow his or her response time in order to increase his or her overall accuracy level (Proctor & Vu, 2003). In experimental research, illustrative schematics of speed–accuracy tradeoff data reveal...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_1247
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References and Readings

  • Bullinaria, J. A. (2000). Free gifts from connectionist modeling. In R. Baddeley, P. J. B. Hancock, & P. Foldiak (Eds.), Information theory and the brain (pp. 221–240). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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  • Proctor, R. W., & Vu, K.-P. L. (2003). Action selection. In A. F. Healy & R. W. Proctor (Eds.), Experimental psychology (pp. 293–316). Vol. 4 in I. B. Weiner (Editor-in-Chief) Handbook of psychology. New York: Wiley.

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© 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Zimmerman, M.E. (2011). Speed–Accuracy Tradeoff. In: Kreutzer, J.S., DeLuca, J., Caplan, B. (eds) Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-79948-3_1247

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