Testing theories of post-error slowing

Gilles Dutilh*, Joachim Vandekerckhove, Birte U. Forstmann, Emmanuel Keuleers, Marc Brysbaert, Eric-Jan Wagenmakers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

137 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

People tend to slow down after they make an error. This phenomenon, generally referred to as post-error slowing, has been hypothesized to reflect perceptual distraction, time wasted on irrelevant processes, an a priori bias against the response made in error, increased variability in a priori bias, or an increase in response caution. Although the response caution interpretation has dominated the empirical literature, little research has attempted to test this interpretation in the context of a formal process model. Here, we used the drift diffusion model to isolate and identify the psychological processes responsible for post-error slowing. In a very large lexical decision data set, we found that post-error slowing was associated with an increase in response caution and-to a lesser extent-a change in response bias. In the present data set, we found no evidence that post-error slowing is caused by perceptual distraction or time wasted on irrelevant processes. These results support a response-monitoring account of post-error slowing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-465
Number of pages12
JournalAttention, Perception & Psychophysics
Volume74
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Response caution
  • Response time distributions
  • Cognitive control and automaticity
  • Diffusion model decomposition
  • Lexical decision
  • DIFFUSION-MODEL ANALYSIS
  • LEXICAL DECISION TASK
  • CHOICE-REACTION-TIMES
  • RESPONSE-TIME
  • DISCRIMINATION TASK
  • NULL HYPOTHESIS
  • DELTA PLOTS
  • T TESTS
  • ACCURACY
  • SPEED

Cite this

Dutilh, G., Vandekerckhove, J., Forstmann, B. U., Keuleers, E., Brysbaert, M., & Wagenmakers, E-J. (2012). Testing theories of post-error slowing. Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, 74(2), 454-465. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-011-0243-2