Theoretical models of reaction times arising from simple-choice tasks

  • Mauricio TejoEmail author
  • Héctor Araya
  • Sebastián Niklitschek-Soto
  • Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos
Brief Communication


In this work we present a group of theoretical models for reaction times arising from simple-choice task tests. In particular, we argue for the inclusion of a shifted version of the Gamma distribution as a theoretical model based on a mathematical result on first hitting times. We contrast the goodness-of-fit of those models with the Ex-Gaussian distribution, using data from recently published experiments. The evidence of the results obtained highlights the convenience of proposing theoretical models for reaction times instead of models acting exclusively as quantitative distribution measurements.


Cognitive process Reaction times Quantitative distribution measurements Theoretical models Simple-choice task tests 



This work is supported by funding from Project FONDECYT 1161023. We thank Carlos Velasco and David C. Osmon for providing us with the data sets featured here. The authors thank Professor Jeff Miller for assisting in clarifying definitions of simple-choice and 2AFC tasks. We also thank Nathan Leigh Jones and Amy K. Robinson for proofreading this manuscript. The authors acknowledge the unknown referees for their insightful suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mauricio Tejo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Héctor Araya
    • 2
  • Sebastián Niklitschek-Soto
    • 3
  • Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos
    • 4
  1. 1.Departamento de MatemáticaUniversidad Tecnológica MetropolitanaSantiagoChile
  2. 2.Instituto de EstadísticaUniversidad de ValparaísoValparaísoChile
  3. 3.Facultad de Ciencias Físicas y MatemáticasUniversidad de ConcepciónConcepciónChile
  4. 4.School of PsychologyThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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