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Investigating the speed-accuracy trade-off: Better use deadlines or response signals?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23299396     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Abstract/OtherAbstract:
Deadlines (DLs) and response signals (RSs) are two well-established techniques for investigating speed-accuracy trade-offs (SATs). Methodological differences imply, however, that corresponding data do not necessarily reflect equivalent processes. Specifically, the DL procedure grants knowledge about trial-specific time demands and requires responses before a prespecified period has elapsed. In contrast, RS intervals often vary unpredictably between trials, and responses must be given after an explicit signal. Here, we investigated the effects of these differences in a flanker task. While all conditions yielded robust SAT functions, a right-shift of the curves pointed to reduced performance in RS conditions (Experiment 1, blocked; Experiments 2 and 3, randomized), as compared with DL conditions (Experiments 1-3, blocked), indicating that the detection of the RS imposes additional task demands. Moreover, the flanker effect vanished at long intervals in RS settings, suggesting that stimulus-related effects are absorbed in a slack when decisions are completed prior to the signal. In turn, effects of a flat (Experiment 2) versus a performance-contingent payment (Experiment 3) indicated that susceptibility to response strategies is higher in the DL than in the RS method. Finally, the RS procedure led to a broad range of slow responses and high accuracies, whereas DL conditions resulted in smaller variations in the upper data range (Experiments 1 and 2); with performance-contingent payment (Experiment 3), though, data ranges became similar. Together, the results uncover characteristic procedure-related effects and should help in selection of the appropriate technique.
Authors:
Michael Dambacher; Ronald Hübner
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-1-9
Journal Detail:
Title:  Behavior research methods     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1554-3528     ISO Abbreviation:  Behav Res Methods     Publication Date:  2013 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-1-9     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101244316     Medline TA:  Behav Res Methods     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Universität Konstanz, Box D29 78457, Konstanz, Germany, michael.dambacher@uni-konstanz.de.
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