Scientific article
Open access

Intra-Individual Variability from a Lifespan Perspective: A Comparison of Latency and Accuracy Measures

Published inJournal of Intelligence, vol. 6, no. 1, 16
Publication date2018

Within-task variability across trials (intra-individual variability (IIV)) has been mainly studied using latency measures but rarely with accuracy measures. The aim of the Geneva Variability Study was to examine IIV in both latency and accuracy measures of cognitive performance across the lifespan, administering the same tasks to children, younger adults, and older adults. Six processing speed tasks (Response Time (RT) tasks, 8 conditions) and two working memory tasks scored in terms of the number of correct responses (WorkingMemory (WM)—verbal and visuo-spatial, 6 conditions), as well as control tasks, were administered to over 500 individuals distributed across the three age periods. The main questions were whether age differences in IIV would vary throughout the lifespan according (i) to the type of measure used (RTs vs. accuracy); and (ii) to task complexity. The objective of this paper was to present the general experimental design and to provide an essentially descriptive picture of the results. For all experimental tasks, IIV was estimated using intra-individual standard deviation (iSDr), controlling for the individual level (mean) of performance and for potential practice effects. As concerns RTs, and in conformity with a majority of the literature, younger adults were less variable than both children and older adults, and the young children were often the most variable. In contrast, IIV in theWMaccuracy scores pointed to different age trends—age effects were either not observed or, when found, they indicated that younger adults were the more variable group. Overall, the findings suggest that IIV provides complementary information to that based on a mean performance, and that the relation of IIV to cognitive development depends on the type of measure used

  • Intra-individual variability
  • Working memory
  • Life-span
  • Reaction time
Citation (ISO format)
FAGOT, Delphine et al. Intra-Individual Variability from a Lifespan Perspective: A Comparison of Latency and Accuracy Measures. In: Journal of Intelligence, 2018, vol. 6, n° 1, p. 16. doi: 10.3390/jintelligence6010016
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal2079-3200

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