Testing theories of post-error slowing

G. Dutilh and J. Vandekerckhove and B. U. Forstmann and E. Keuleers and M. Brysbaert and E.-J. Wagenmakers People tend to slow down after they make an error. This phenomenon, generally referred to as post-error slowing, has been hypothesized to reflect perceptual distraction, time wasted on irrelevant processes, an a priori bias against the response made in error, increased variability in a priori bias, or an increase in response caution. Although the response caution interpretation has dominated the empirical literature, little research has attempted to test this interpretation in the context of a formal process model. Here, we used the drift diffusion model to isolate and identify the psychological processes responsible for post-error slowing. In a very large lexical decision data set, we found that post-error slowing was associated with an increase in response caution and - to a lesser extent - a change in response bias. In the present data set, we found no evidence that post-error slowing is caused by perceptual distraction or time wasted on irrelevant processes. These results support a response-monitoring account of post-error slowing. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-011-0243-2


Dutilh, G., Vandekerckhove, J., Forstmann, B. U., Keuleers, E., Brysbaert, M., & Wagenmakers, E.-J. (2012). Testing theories of post-error slowing. Attention, Perception, & Psychophysics, 7, 454–465.


  title     = {Testing theories of post-error slowing},
  author    = {Dutilh, G. and Vandekerckhove, J. and Forstmann, B. U. and Keuleers, E. and Brysbaert, M. and Wagenmakers, E.-J.},
  journal   = {Attention, Perception, \& Psychophysics},
  year      = {2012},
  volume    = {7},
  pages     = {454--465},
  doi       = {10.3758/s13414-011-0243-2},