Fitting the Ratcliff diffusion model to experimental data


Many experiments in psychology yield both reaction time and accuracy data. However, no off-the-shelf methods yet exist for the statistical analysis of such data. One particularly successful model has been the diffusion process, but using it is difficult in practice because of numerical, statistical, and software problems. We present a general method for performing diffusion model analyses on experimental data. By implementing design matrices, a wide range of across-condition restrictions can be imposed on model parameters, in a flexible way. It becomes possible to fit models with parameters regressed onto predictors. Moreover, data analytical tools are discussed that can be used to handle various types of outliers and contaminants. We briefly present an easy to use software tool that helps perform diffusion model analyses.


Vandekerckhove, J., & Tuerlinckx, F. (2007). Fitting the Ratcliff diffusion model to experimental data. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 14, 1011–1026.


    title   = {{F}itting the {R}atcliff diffusion model to experimental data},
    author  = {Vandekerckhove, Joachim and Tuerlinckx, Francis},
    year    = {2007},
    journal = {Psychonomic Bulletin \& Review},
    volume  = {14},
    pages   = {1011--1026}