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Alexander Turkovsky 1, Boris Bespalov2, Alexander Vartanov2, Andrey Kiselnikov2
  • 1 Lomonosov Moscow State University., Lomonosov Moscow State University, GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation
  • 2 Lomonosov Moscow State University, GSP-1, Leninskie Gory, Moscow, Russian Federation, 119991

Evaluation of the Instrumental Error in a Chronometric Psychological Experiment Using Modern Equipment (in Russian)

2014. Vol. 11. No. 4. P. 146–157 [issue contents]

The developed electronic unit (ElU) measured temporal error of computer programs and equipment used in chronometric psychological experiments. Four programs were assessed – Presentation, StimMake, VS / SiSubs, Tachistoscope TX 4.01, as well as CRT and LCD monitors with a refresh rate of 200, 120 and 60 Hz, USB-mouse with a polling rate of 1000 or 125 Hz and a standard PS / 2 keyboard. In the experiments, instead of subjects, the ElU responded to the stimulus (white box on the computer screen); the ElU has near zero (less than 1 ms) reaction time (RTr = 0) but the reaction time measured by a program is different due to the hardware delay (RTm > 0). Instrumental errors (means and standard deviations of RTm) depend on the programs used and are largely due to the characteristics of the output devices displaying stimuli on the screen rather than to the characteristics of the response registration devices. For the first three Microsoft Windows-based programs the instrumental errors, depending on the equipment, range from 24 to 94 ms (for medium RTrs) and from 2.7 to 15.4 ms (for the variance of RTr). For the MS-DOS-based TX 4.01 mean = 12 ms, variance = 2.3 ms. In order to reduce the instrumental error in chronometric experiments, “gaming” high-frequency monitors and mice with proprietary drivers are recommended. When using powerful MS Windows connecting this equipment via USB-port for chronometric purposes is acceptable.

Citation: Turkovsky, A. A., Bespalov, B. I., Vartanov, A. V., & Kiselnikov, A.A. (2014). Evaluation of the Instrumental Error in a Chronometric Psychological Experiment Using Modern Equipment. Psychology. Journal of Higher School of Economics, 11(4), 166-176 (in Russian)
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