SELF-TIMING IN MEMORY AND VISUAL SEARCH TASKS

  • Hye J. Han
  • Charles Viau-Quesnel
  • Zhuangzhuang Xi
  • Richard Schweickert
  • Claudette Fortin

Abstract

We investigated the ability of people to time themselves as they perform cognitive tasks. One group did a memory search task, another did a visual search task. After each response, participants estimated the duration of their own reaction time. In both tasks, correlations between reaction times and temporal judgments were significant, showing that people can provide precise quantitative estimates of mental processes when they perform memory and visual search tasks. Increasing load lengthened reaction times and temporal estimates in both tasks. Accuracy of temporal judgments increased across blocks of experimental trials, showing considerable improvement in self-timing with practice although in visual search, improvement was more pronounced under low load conditions. Results demonstrate excellent ability for self- timing of memory and visual search, but suggest that in visual search, self-timing is influenced by stimulus conditions.

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