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Methodological and empirical developments for the Ratcliff diffusion model of response times and accuracy

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Abstract:

The Ratcliff diffusion model for simple two-choice decisions (e.g., Ratcliff, 1978; Ratcliff & McKoon, 2008) has two outstanding advantages. First, the model generally provides an excellent fit to the observed data (i.e., response accuracy and the shape of RT distributions, both for correct and error responses). Second, the parameters of the model can be mapped on to latent psychological processes such as the speed of information accumulation, response caution, and a priori bias. In recent years, the advantages of the Ratcliff diffusion model have become increasingly clear. Current advances in methodology allow all researchers to fit the diffusion model to data easily. Recent applications to ageing, lexical decision, IQ, practice, the implicit association test, and the accessory stimulus effect serve to highlight the added value of a diffusion model perspective on simple decision making.

Keywords: Mathematical modelling; RT distributions; Random walk; Signal-detection theory

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09541440802205067

Affiliations: University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication date: July 1, 2008

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