Erroneous Knowledge of Results Affects Decision and Memory Processes on Timing Tasks

Lawrence J. Ryan, Matthew S. Fritz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


On mental timing tasks, erroneous knowledge of results (KR) leads to incorrect performance accompanied by the subjective judgment of accurate performance. Using the start-stop technique (an analogue of the peak interval procedure) with both reproduction and production timing tasks, the authors analyze what processes erroneous KR alters. KR provides guidance (performance error information) that lowers decision thresholds. Erroneous KR also provides targeting information that alters response durations proportionately to the magnitude of the feedback error. On the production task, this shift results from changes in the reference memory, whereas on the reproduction task this shift results from changes in the decision threshold for responding. The idea that erroneous KR can alter different cognitive processes on related tasks is supported by the authors' demonstration that the learned strategies can transfer from the reproduction task to the production task but not visa versa. Thus effects of KR are both task and context dependent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1468-1482
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • feedback
  • knowledge of results
  • learning
  • time estimation
  • timing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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