Advanced

On the Relation of Mean Reaction Time and Intraindividual Reaction Time Variability

Schmiedek, Florian; Lövdén, Martin LU and Lindenberger, Ulman (2009) In Psychology and Aging 24(4). p.841-857
Abstract
Researchers often statistically control for means when examining individual or age-associated differences in variances, assuming that the relation between the 2 is linear and invariant within and across individuals and age groups. We tested this assumption in the domain of working memory by applying variance-heterogeneity multilevel models to reaction times in the n-back task. Data are from the COGITO study, which comprises 101 younger and 103 older adults assessed in over 100 daily sessions. We found that relations between means and variances vary reliably across age groups and individuals, thereby contradicting the invariant linearity assumption. We argue that statistical control approaches need to be replaced by theoretical models that... (More)
Researchers often statistically control for means when examining individual or age-associated differences in variances, assuming that the relation between the 2 is linear and invariant within and across individuals and age groups. We tested this assumption in the domain of working memory by applying variance-heterogeneity multilevel models to reaction times in the n-back task. Data are from the COGITO study, which comprises 101 younger and 103 older adults assessed in over 100 daily sessions. We found that relations between means and variances vary reliably across age groups and individuals, thereby contradicting the invariant linearity assumption. We argue that statistical control approaches need to be replaced by theoretical models that simultaneously estimate central tendency and dispersion of latencies and accuracies and illustrate this claim by applying the diffusion model to the same data. Finally, we note that differences in reliability between estimates for means and variances need to be considered when comparing their unique contributions to developmental outcomes. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
reliability, variance heterogeneity models, multilevel models, working memory, intraindividual variability
in
Psychology and Aging
volume
24
issue
4
pages
841 - 857
publisher
American Psychological Association (APA)
external identifiers
  • wos:000272904900007
  • scopus:75149172787
ISSN
0882-7974
DOI
10.1037/a0017799
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c40c4bc2-9874-4a54-a7f9-0f3bd97873d3 (old id 1531878)
date added to LUP
2010-01-29 13:47:10
date last changed
2017-11-05 04:14:38
@article{c40c4bc2-9874-4a54-a7f9-0f3bd97873d3,
  abstract     = {Researchers often statistically control for means when examining individual or age-associated differences in variances, assuming that the relation between the 2 is linear and invariant within and across individuals and age groups. We tested this assumption in the domain of working memory by applying variance-heterogeneity multilevel models to reaction times in the n-back task. Data are from the COGITO study, which comprises 101 younger and 103 older adults assessed in over 100 daily sessions. We found that relations between means and variances vary reliably across age groups and individuals, thereby contradicting the invariant linearity assumption. We argue that statistical control approaches need to be replaced by theoretical models that simultaneously estimate central tendency and dispersion of latencies and accuracies and illustrate this claim by applying the diffusion model to the same data. Finally, we note that differences in reliability between estimates for means and variances need to be considered when comparing their unique contributions to developmental outcomes.},
  author       = {Schmiedek, Florian and Lövdén, Martin and Lindenberger, Ulman},
  issn         = {0882-7974},
  keyword      = {reliability,variance heterogeneity models,multilevel models,working memory,intraindividual variability},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {841--857},
  publisher    = {American Psychological Association (APA)},
  series       = {Psychology and Aging},
  title        = {On the Relation of Mean Reaction Time and Intraindividual Reaction Time Variability},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017799},
  volume       = {24},
  year         = {2009},
}