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Sir Francis Galton is typically credited as the founder of differential psychology, which seeks to determine and explain the mental differences between individuals.
He was the first to use rigorous reaction time tests with the express intention of determining averages and ranges of individual differences in mental and behavioral traits in humans.
RT is constrained not only by the speed of signal transmission in white matter, but also by the properties of synaptic and neural processing in cortical gray matters.
Due to momentary attentional lapses, there is a considerable amount of variability in an individual's response time, which does not tend to follow a normal (Gaussian) distribution.
It is important to realize that with new information about subdivision or correlation of relative time, or new measurements of absolute time, the dates applied to the time scale can and do change. ISBN 0-521-38765-5 [One of the more recent compilations of the entire geologic time scale.] Holmes, A., 1937.
Revisions to the relative time scale have occurred since the late 1700s.
Taking the mean of the raw response time is rarely an effective method of characterizing the typical response time, and alternative approaches (such as modeling the entire response time distribution) are often more appropriate.In psychometric psychology it is considered to be an index of processing speed.That is, it indicates how fast the individual can execute the mental operations needed by the task at hand.Mental chronometry is one of the core paradigms of experimental and cognitive psychology, and has found application in various disciplines including cognitive psychophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, and behavioral neuroscience to elucidate mechanisms underlying cognitive processing.Mental chronometry is studied using measurements of reaction time (RT), which is the elapsed time between the presentation of a sensory stimulus and the subsequent behavioral response.