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How can I measure someone's ability for the speed to which they react to something? Is their a way to test something like a person's reaction timing that doesn't involve something as simple as the ruler test, but rather something a bit more complex.

Edited: The ruler test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn6WRm6TiPk I have not yet done initial research on this topic because I want some good opinions on sources that I can use to better my understanding of this topic. I apologize if I was not clear at first.

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome. What is the ruler test? What stimulus you wish to use? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Oct 4 '17 at 6:59
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    $\begingroup$ The question is vague and is generating badly received answers as a consequence. Folks are putting effort in your question and this post needs to be edited. -1 $\endgroup$ – AliceD Oct 4 '17 at 18:08
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    $\begingroup$ A stimulus is the cue. For example we can measure response times (RTs) to visual stimuli, auditory stimuli, but also response times to solve a challenging mathematical problem. The former yield RTs of hundreds of ms or so, the latter may yield RTs of minutes. The latter is usually not associated with RTs, but from your question it is difficult to deduce what you are after. Hence, please explain the intended experiment. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Oct 5 '17 at 7:59
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    $\begingroup$ So your question is on grasping response latencies as in the linked test? is that what you wish to measure? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Oct 5 '17 at 9:04
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    $\begingroup$ What is your research question? $\endgroup$ – noumenal Oct 5 '17 at 20:50
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It is very typical to record response times. Usually using a computer keyboard. It's easy to program or some software can do it for you (e.g. e-prime). You can also use already-made response boxes (e.g. RTbox), or make your own (e.g. with an arduino). As pointed out, it is usually good to control for performance to prevent speed-accuracy tradeoff confounds.

Li, X., Liang, Z., Kleiner, M., & Lu, Z. L. (2010). RTbox: a device for highly accurate response time measurements. Behavior Research Methods, 42(1), 212-225.

Schubert, T. W., D’Ausilio, A., & Canto, R. (2013). Using Arduino microcontroller boards to measure response latencies. Behavior research methods, 45(4), 1332-1346.

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  • $\begingroup$ I appreciate the description you have to me, but I was having trouble finding the websites you are describing in the second and third paragraphs. Could you please put links as a reference. I also do not understand what an Arduino is. Plese help clarrify these issues. $\endgroup$ – Daniel Marksman Oct 5 '17 at 2:06
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielMarksman - use google scholar to find the papers and try google for arduino. Arduino is basically a low-budget solution to anything related to building your own computer-driven setup. We also have an arduino stack :) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Oct 5 '17 at 9:37
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    $\begingroup$ @DanielMarksman ... and keep in mind (as per AliceD's comment on your question) that since your question is very vague and broad, these are but some of the resources which might be relevant (or not) depending on what exactly you are after. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Oct 5 '17 at 11:46
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    $\begingroup$ You can use a regular computer keyboard, just be aware that the recorded response times can only be compared relatively, as there will be a constant delay component added compared to using dedicated scientific gear. $\endgroup$ – noumenal Oct 5 '17 at 20:48

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