- Testing theories of post-error slowing
- Attention, Perception & Psychophysics
- Volume | Issue number
- 74 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
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 posterror 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.
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