Thursday 15 May 2014

Is young Woodley about to step back into the ring?

You may recall the frequent rumours that young Woodley, him of the long Edwardian frock coat and the gold pince-nez, was about to lash out at his tormentors on the subject of Victorian reaction times. His trainers tell me the young challenger is ready, and can be expected shortly at the weighing in ceremony.


  1. Kinda wishing that this topic would go away. So far, every entry on the matter (and forgive me if there's stuff I missed, I can't follow the comments here, unfortunately) has been about arguing over the impossible to resolve sampling issue of older studies. No matter how Woodley frames it, there is just no way to know. It would seem that his energies would be best spent elsewhere.

  2. @James - You already know this, but forgive me if I post this link to yet another independent source of data showing evidence of significant reaction time slowing:

    The sheer magnitude of the slowing is also worth emphasizing - Galton's sample and a further half dozen around that time were clocked at about 180 ms (other studies of that era ranged 151-200 milliseconds) - whereas modern samples vary but are around 50-100 percent slower - e.g. this Scottish sample had sRTs in the mid 300s of millisecond.

    To emphasize: Some samples of modern people are taking around about *twice as long* as late 1800 samples to accomplish a simple reaction time task like press a button in response to a light or buzzer!

    Big stuff.