Reaction time variables
Reaction time may be affected by strength or complexity variables, Reaction time may be shortened by “strength” conditions, but not below an irreducible minimum. Reaction time may be lengthen by “complexity” conditions
Strength variables. These are variables that affect some part of the chain of processes between the signal and its response.
- Intensity of signal. The more intense the signal is; the shorter is the response time and vice versa. For example, you react faster to a loud signal than you do to a quieter signal.
- Discriminability. The more different the signals are, the shorter the reaction time. For example, you react quicker to backfire than you do to a bright flash of light.
- Motivation. Motivation affects reaction time. For example, you react to a punch quicker when you are sparring full contact than you do when you are sparring no contact. The prospect of pain is a greater motivator.
- Preparation. If a warning signal is given a second or two before the signal for response, the reaction time is shortened. For example, reaction time after seeing a fist cocking just before a punch will be less than the fist punching without cocking.
- Practice. Reaction time may be decreased by practice, especially for complex conditions. More example, the more you spar, the faster you react to attacks.