Apparatus for Measurement of Reaction Time to Complex Differential Stimuli Presented as a Standard Rate in Nonrepetitive Series

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Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Science, Vol: 61, Issue: 1, Page: 402-405

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Pfefferkorn, Robert G.
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The development of reaction time measurement methodology from the experimentations of Donders has been distinguished primarily by inventions of more accurate and reliable measuring instruments (5). Methodology and content have been changed but little and in fact have been simplified and condensed from the elaborate formulations of early psychophysics. On logical grounds speed of reaction has been postulated as an important trait positively related to the successful performance of certain psychomotor skills, e.g., driving a motor vehicle. However, experimental evidence to support this hypothesis has been inconsistent. Mostly the relationships to such performance have been found to be low. One study has demonstrated a negative relationship between speed of reaction and success in operating a motor vehicle (3). Bartlett (1) and Conrad (2) have cited certain objections to relating the data of typical psychophysical experiments to behavior outside the laboratory. These investigators object particularly to the discrete nature of the stimulus typical of psychophysical methodology. Bartlett has observed that in everyday life individuals are confronted with complex series stimuli. Conrad has added that such series stimuli are permutative but not repetitive.