Decomposing speed of information processing in elementary cognitive tasks

Pahud, O.; Rammsayer, T.; Troche, S. (29 July 2015). Decomposing speed of information processing in elementary cognitive tasks (Unpublished). In: 17th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Individual Differences (ISSID). London ON, Canada. 27.07-31.07.2015.

Many studies obtained reliable individual differences in speed of information processing (SIP) as measured by elementary cognitive tasks (ECTs). ECTs usually employ response times (RT) as measure of SIP, but different ECTs target different cognitive processes (e.g., simple or choice reaction, inhibition). Here we used modified versions of the Hick and the Eriksen Flanker task to examine whether these tasks assess dissociable or common aspects of SIP. In both tasks, task complexity was systematically varied across three levels. RT data were collected from 135 participants. Applying fixed-links modeling, RT variance increasing with task complexity was separated from RT variance unchanging across conditions. For each task, these aspects of variance were represented by two independent latent variables. The two latent variables representing RT variance not varying with complexity of the two tasks were virtually identical (r = .83). The latent variables representing increasing complexity in the two tasks were also highly correlated (r = .72) but clearly dissociable. Thus, RT measures contain both task-unspecific, person-related aspects of SIP as well as task-specific aspects indicating the cognitive processes manipulated with the respective task. Separating these aspects of SIP facilitates the interpretation of individual differences in RT.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Personality Psychology, Differential Psychology and Diagnostics

UniBE Contributor:

Pahud, Olivier; Rammsayer, Thomas and Troche, Stefan


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Karin Dubler

Date Deposited:

25 May 2016 09:51

Last Modified:

08 Mar 2019 08:04


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