Document Detail

The difference engine: a model of diversity in speeded cognition.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12921409     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A theory of diversity in speeded cognition, the difference engine, is proposed, in which information processing is represented as a series of generic computational steps. Some individuals tend to perform all of these computations relatively quickly and other individuals tend to perform them all relatively slowly, reflecting the existence of a general cognitive speed factor, but the time required for response selection and execution is assumed to be independent of cognitive speed. The difference engine correctly predicts the positively accelerated form of the relation between diversity of performance, as measured by the standard deviation for the group, and task difficulty, as indexed by the mean response time (RT) for the group. In addition, the difference engine correctly predicts approximately linear relations between the RTs of any individual and average performance for the group, with the regression lines for fast individuals having slopes less than 1.0 (and positive intercepts) and the regression lines for slow individuals having slopes greater than 1.0 (and negative intercepts). Similar predictions are made for comparisons of slow, average, and fast subgroups, regardless of whether those subgroups are formed on the basis of differences in ability, age, or health status. These predictions are consistent with evidence from studies of healthy young and older adults as well as from studies of depressed and age-matched control groups.
Joel Myerson; Sandra Hale; Yingye Zheng; Lisa Jenkins; Keith F Widaman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Psychonomic bulletin & review     Volume:  10     ISSN:  1069-9384     ISO Abbreviation:  Psychon Bull Rev     Publication Date:  2003 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-08-18     Completed Date:  2003-12-23     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9502924     Medline TA:  Psychon Bull Rev     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  262-88     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri 63130, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Cognition / physiology*
Models, Biological
Reaction Time*
Grant Support
Comment In:
Psychon Bull Rev. 2007 Jun;14(3):534-41   [PMID:  17874602 ]
Erratum In:
Psychon Bull Rev. 2007 Jun;14(3):542

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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