Fast and slow errors: Logistic regression to identify patterns in accuracy–response time relationships

Leendert van Maanen*, Dimitris Katsimpokis, A. Dilene van Campen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Understanding error and response time patterns is essential for making inferences in several domains of cognitive psychology. Crucial insights on cognitive performance and typical behavioral patterns are disclosed by using distributional analyses such as conditional accuracy functions (CAFs) instead of mean statistics. Several common behavioral error patterns revealed by CAFs are frequently described in the literature: response capture (associated with relatively fast errors), time pressure or urgency paradigms (slow errors), or cue-induced speed–accuracy trade-off (evenly distributed errors). Unfortunately, the standard way of computing CAFs is problematic, because accuracy is averaged in RT bins. Here we present a novel way of analyzing accuracy–RT relationships on the basis of nonlinear logistic regression, to handle these problematic aspects of RT binning. First we evaluate the parametric robustness of the logistic regression CAF through parameter recovery. Second, we apply the function to three existing data sets showing that specific parametric changes in the logistic regression CAF can consistently describe common behavioral patterns (such as response capture, time pressure, and speed–accuracy trade-off). Finally, we discuss potential modifications for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2378-2389
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019

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