Predicting Human Performance II: Laws of the Visual Reaction Time
NEW MEXICO STATE UNIV LAS CRUCES DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The literature on the reaction time to a flash of light was reviewed and 14 studies published between 1896 and 1969 were selected as having provided sufficient methodological detail and data appropriate for quantitative analysis of the effects of the following selected variables Luminance, duration, size of stimulus, contrast, and background luminance, response to stimulus onset vs. offset of the signal, and monocular vs. binocular viewing. Conclusions were drawn about the effects of each variable andor the status of the research literature concerning it. Mathematical relationships were developed which can be used to predict binocular RTs over a wide range of luminance, signal duration and signal size. These relationships appear sufficiently reliable to be used for purposes of equipment design. The data were also considered in theoretical terms. It was shown that the product of RT and luminance may be used to represent a response criterion in the sense implied by the theory of signal detection as developed in recent latency models.