Individual differences on speeded cognitive tasks: Comment on Chen, Hale, and Myerson (2007)

Fábio P. Leite, Roger Ratcliff, Corey N. White

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Debate/Erratumpeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Chen, Hale, and Myerson (2007) recently reported a test of the difference engine model (Myerson, Hale, Zheng, Jenkins, & Widaman, 2003). This test evaluated whether the standard deviation (SD) is proportional to the amount of processing - that is, mean reaction time (RT) - in a speeded cognitive task. We show that this evaluation is not a test of the model because its finding is a consequence of relationships in the data. We argue any model structure that produces increasing values of RT as a function of difficulty, with different slopes for different individuals, necessarily produces a correlation between SD and mean RT. We illustrate this with a different model structure - that is, the diffusion model proposed by Ratcliff (1978) - showing that it produces a fan out between fast- and slow-group means and produces the correlation between SD and mean RT that matches the empirical result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1009
Number of pages3
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Individual differences on speeded cognitive tasks: Comment on Chen, Hale, and Myerson (2007)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this