Are go/no-go tasks preferable to two-choice tasks in response time experiments with older adults?
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Manuel Perea, Ester Devis, Ana Marcet & Pablo Gomez (2016) Are go/no-go tasks preferable to two-choice tasks in response time experiments with older adults?, Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 28:2, 147-158, DOI: 10.1080/20445911.2015.1107077
Recent research has shown that, in response time (RT) tasks, the go/no-go response procedure produces faster (and less noisy) RTs and fewer errors than the two-choice response procedure in children, although these differences are substantially smaller in college-aged adults. Here we examined whether the go/no-go procedure can be preferred to the two-choice procedure in RT experiments with older adults (i.e. another population with slower and more error-prone responding than college-aged individuals). To that end, we compared these response procedures in two experiments with older adults (Mage = 83 years): a visual word recognition task (lexical decision) and a perceptual task (numerosity discrimination). A group of young adults (Mage = 31 years) served as a control. In the lexical decision experiment, results showed a go/nogo advantage in the mean RTs and in the error rates for words; however, this was not accompanied by less noisy RT data. The magnitude of the word-frequency effect was similar in the two response procedures. The numerosity discrimination experiment did not reveal any clear differences across response procedures, except that the RTs were noisier in the go/no-go procedure. Therefore, we found no compelling reasons why the go/no-go procedure should be preferred over the two-choice procedure in RT experiments with older adults.