Response Time Distributions in Memory Scanning

F. Gregory Ashby, Jenn-Yun Tein, J. D. Balakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports the results of a memory scanning experiment (S. Sternberg. 1966, Science, 153, 652-654) in which each of four subjects participated in about 1500 experimental trials per memory set size. These large samples made it possible to test a number of important nonparametric (i.e., model-free) properties of the response time (RT) distributions. These properties place severe constraints on the various memory scanning models and they provide a deeper description of the data than summary statistics or goodness-of-fit values. Five conclusions stood out. First, increasing the size of the memory set induced the strongest possible form of stochastic dominance on both target present and target absent trials. Second, the RT hazard functions were nonmonotonic, thereby falsifying a large class of serial searell models, Third, strong evidence was obtained against art exhaustive search. Fourth, some evidence was found that adding an item to the memory set inserts a stage with exponentially distributed duration into the processing claim, at least on largest absent trials. Fifth, the data supported the hypothesis that three of the subjects stored the representations of the memory set items in a visual short-term memory system and the fourth subject used all acoustic short-term system. To our knowledge, the only extant model of memory scanning that is consistent with all these results assumes that search is parallel, self-terminating, and of very limited capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)526-555
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1993

Fingerprint

Response time (computer systems)
Response Time
Reaction Time
Scanning
Data storage equipment
Stochastic Dominance
Target
Memory Term
Hazard Function
Exhaustive Search
Nonparametric Model
Art
Goodness of fit
Short-Term Memory
Acoustics
Hazards
Model
Statistics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

Response Time Distributions in Memory Scanning. / Ashby, F. Gregory; Tein, Jenn-Yun; Balakrishnan, J. D.

In: Journal of Mathematical Psychology, Vol. 37, No. 4, 12.1993, p. 526-555.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ashby, F. Gregory ; Tein, Jenn-Yun ; Balakrishnan, J. D. / Response Time Distributions in Memory Scanning. In: Journal of Mathematical Psychology. 1993 ; Vol. 37, No. 4. pp. 526-555.
@article{b0b36b745b05494585e381b58e0b530c,
title = "Response Time Distributions in Memory Scanning",
abstract = "This article reports the results of a memory scanning experiment (S. Sternberg. 1966, Science, 153, 652-654) in which each of four subjects participated in about 1500 experimental trials per memory set size. These large samples made it possible to test a number of important nonparametric (i.e., model-free) properties of the response time (RT) distributions. These properties place severe constraints on the various memory scanning models and they provide a deeper description of the data than summary statistics or goodness-of-fit values. Five conclusions stood out. First, increasing the size of the memory set induced the strongest possible form of stochastic dominance on both target present and target absent trials. Second, the RT hazard functions were nonmonotonic, thereby falsifying a large class of serial searell models, Third, strong evidence was obtained against art exhaustive search. Fourth, some evidence was found that adding an item to the memory set inserts a stage with exponentially distributed duration into the processing claim, at least on largest absent trials. Fifth, the data supported the hypothesis that three of the subjects stored the representations of the memory set items in a visual short-term memory system and the fourth subject used all acoustic short-term system. To our knowledge, the only extant model of memory scanning that is consistent with all these results assumes that search is parallel, self-terminating, and of very limited capacity.",
author = "Ashby, {F. Gregory} and Jenn-Yun Tein and Balakrishnan, {J. D.}",
year = "1993",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1006/jmps.1993.1033",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "526--555",
journal = "Journal of Mathematical Psychology",
issn = "0022-2496",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Response Time Distributions in Memory Scanning

AU - Ashby, F. Gregory

AU - Tein, Jenn-Yun

AU - Balakrishnan, J. D.

PY - 1993/12

Y1 - 1993/12

N2 - This article reports the results of a memory scanning experiment (S. Sternberg. 1966, Science, 153, 652-654) in which each of four subjects participated in about 1500 experimental trials per memory set size. These large samples made it possible to test a number of important nonparametric (i.e., model-free) properties of the response time (RT) distributions. These properties place severe constraints on the various memory scanning models and they provide a deeper description of the data than summary statistics or goodness-of-fit values. Five conclusions stood out. First, increasing the size of the memory set induced the strongest possible form of stochastic dominance on both target present and target absent trials. Second, the RT hazard functions were nonmonotonic, thereby falsifying a large class of serial searell models, Third, strong evidence was obtained against art exhaustive search. Fourth, some evidence was found that adding an item to the memory set inserts a stage with exponentially distributed duration into the processing claim, at least on largest absent trials. Fifth, the data supported the hypothesis that three of the subjects stored the representations of the memory set items in a visual short-term memory system and the fourth subject used all acoustic short-term system. To our knowledge, the only extant model of memory scanning that is consistent with all these results assumes that search is parallel, self-terminating, and of very limited capacity.

AB - This article reports the results of a memory scanning experiment (S. Sternberg. 1966, Science, 153, 652-654) in which each of four subjects participated in about 1500 experimental trials per memory set size. These large samples made it possible to test a number of important nonparametric (i.e., model-free) properties of the response time (RT) distributions. These properties place severe constraints on the various memory scanning models and they provide a deeper description of the data than summary statistics or goodness-of-fit values. Five conclusions stood out. First, increasing the size of the memory set induced the strongest possible form of stochastic dominance on both target present and target absent trials. Second, the RT hazard functions were nonmonotonic, thereby falsifying a large class of serial searell models, Third, strong evidence was obtained against art exhaustive search. Fourth, some evidence was found that adding an item to the memory set inserts a stage with exponentially distributed duration into the processing claim, at least on largest absent trials. Fifth, the data supported the hypothesis that three of the subjects stored the representations of the memory set items in a visual short-term memory system and the fourth subject used all acoustic short-term system. To our knowledge, the only extant model of memory scanning that is consistent with all these results assumes that search is parallel, self-terminating, and of very limited capacity.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=38248999805&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=38248999805&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1006/jmps.1993.1033

DO - 10.1006/jmps.1993.1033

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:38248999805

VL - 37

SP - 526

EP - 555

JO - Journal of Mathematical Psychology

JF - Journal of Mathematical Psychology

SN - 0022-2496

IS - 4

ER -