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Response TimesTheir Role in Inferring Elementary Mental Organization$
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R. Duncan Luce

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780195070019

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195070019.001.0001

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Processing Stages and Strategies

Processing Stages and Strategies

(p.456) 12 Processing Stages and Strategies
Response Times

R. Duncan Luce

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the ability of serial and parallel models to mimic either an arbitrary response-time distribution or just one another. The results vary both in what is assumed to be observable and what is assumed about the process. It is virtually impossible to identify the network being used based on data on the distributions of response times in a single experiment. However, with data on intermediate completion times and on the order of completion of stages, neither of which is usually available, it is possible to reject some models. This failure has led to two distinct experimental strategies. The first involves running a series of closely-related experiments based on a limited set of stimuli, and to demand that they be accounted for in a consistent way using the same set of underlying parameters (usually, mean latencies). The second is to confine attention to a single paradigm, and to introduce experimental manipulations designed to affect the stages differentially. The pattern of overall times as a function of the manipulations allows some inferences about the nature of the network involved.

Keywords:   serial-parallel equivalences, simultaneous accounts of several experiments, and selective manipulation of stages

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