Many visual search experiments measure response time (RT) as their primary dependent variable. Analyses typically focus on mean (or median) RT. However, given enough data, the RT distribution can be a rich source of information. For this paper, we collected about 500 trials per cell per observer for both target-present and target-absent displays in each of three classic search tasks: feature search, with the target defined by color; conjunction search, with the target defined by both color and orientation; and spatial configuration search for a 2 among distractor 5s. This large data set allows us to characterize the RT distributions in detail. We present the raw RT distributions and fit several psychologically motivated functions (ex-Gaussian, ex-Wald, Gamma, and Weibull) to the data. We analyze and interpret parameter trends from these four functions within the context of theories of visual search.
(c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved.