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J. Intell. 2016, 4(4), 14; doi:10.3390/jintelligence4040014

Use of Response Time for Measuring Cognitive Ability

Educational Testing Service, Princeton, NJ 08541, USA
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Academic Editor: Oliver Wilhelm
Received: 11 May 2016 / Revised: 19 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Speed and Response Times in Cognitive Tests)
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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to review some of the key literature on response time as it has played a role in cognitive ability measurement, providing a historical perspective as well as covering current research. We discuss the speed-level distinction, dimensions of speed and level in cognitive abilities frameworks, speed–accuracy tradeoff, approaches to addressing speed–accuracy tradeoff, analysis methods, particularly item response theory-based, response time models from cognitive psychology (ex-Gaussian function, and the diffusion model), and other uses of response time in testing besides ability measurement. We discuss several new methods that can be used to provide greater insight into the speed and level aspects of cognitive ability and speed–accuracy tradeoff decisions. These include item-level time limits, the use of feedback (e.g., CUSUMs), explicit scoring rules that combine speed and accuracy information (e.g., count down timing), and cognitive psychology models. We also review some of the key psychometric advances in modeling speed and level, which combine speed and ability measurement, address speed–accuracy tradeoff, allow for distinctions between response times on items responded to correctly and incorrectly, and integrate psychometrics with information-processing modeling. We suggest that the application of these models and tools is likely to advance both the science and measurement of human abilities for theory and applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: response time; speed-level; speeded test; power test; CHC model; cognitive abilities; cognitive components; individual differences; item response theory; diffusion model; ex-Gaussian function; mixture cure-rate model; speed–accuracy tradeoff; processing speed; process models; ability measurement; construct validity; fluid intelligence response time; speed-level; speeded test; power test; CHC model; cognitive abilities; cognitive components; individual differences; item response theory; diffusion model; ex-Gaussian function; mixture cure-rate model; speed–accuracy tradeoff; processing speed; process models; ability measurement; construct validity; fluid intelligence
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kyllonen, P.C.; Zu, J. Use of Response Time for Measuring Cognitive Ability. J. Intell. 2016, 4, 14.

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