Scale Invariant Contrasts of Response Latency Distributions
51 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2013
Date Written: December 17, 2006
Individual differences in general speed lead to a positive correlation between the mean and standard deviation of mean latency. This “coarse” scaling effect causes the mean latency difference (MLD) to be spuriously correlated with general speed. Within individuals, the correlation between the mean and standard deviation of trial latencies leads contrasted distributions to increase their overlap as an MLD of fixed width is translated to the right. To address this “fine” scaling effect, contrasts based on within subject latency transformations including the logarithm, standardization, and ranking were evaluated and turned out to be distinctly superior to the MLD. Notably, the mean gaussian rank latency difference was internally consistent, eliminated fine scaling, meliorated coarse scaling, reduced correlations with general speed, increased statistical power to detect within subject and between group effects, and has the potential to increase the validity of inferences drawn from response latency data.
Keywords: Latency Difference, Scale Invariance, Ranking, Standardization, Gaussian Latency
JEL Classification: C14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation