When more time hurts performance: A temporal analysis of errors in event counting

Open Access
Cassenti, Daniel N.
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
July 26, 2004
Committee Members:
  • Richard Alan Carlson, Committee Chair
  • Judith Fran Kroll, Committee Member
  • Daniel J Weiss, Committee Member
  • Frank Edward Ritter, Committee Member
  • cognitive psychology
  • cognition
  • working memory
  • intention
The speed-accuracy tradeoff suggests that less time to process information leads to less accurate performance. However, when individuals are forced to process information more slowly this also may lead to less accurate performance. Four empirical studies based on a counting task investigated the theory that more time hurts performance and found consistent, confirmatory support. The findings indicate that although forgetting may negatively affect counting, mental rehearsal, a strategy aimed at preventing forgetting may actually increase the chance of making an error. Findings indicate that distracting information may also negatively influence performance. Working memory span, number representation, and other issues are explored and discussed.