Speed-accuracy trade-offs are often considered a confound in speeded choice tasks, but individual differences in strategy have been linked to personality and brain structure. We ask whether strategic adjustments in response caution are reliable, and whether they correlate across tasks and with impulsivity traits. In Study 1, participants performed Eriksen flanker and Stroop tasks in two sessions four weeks apart. We manipulated response caution by emphasising speed or accuracy. We fit the diffusion model for conflict tasks and correlated the change in boundary (accuracy – speed) across session and task. We observed moderate test-retest reliability, and medium to large correlations across tasks. We replicated this between-task correlation in Study 2 using flanker and perceptual decision tasks. We found no consistent correlations with impulsivity. Though moderate reliability poses a challenge for researchers interested in stable traits, consistent correlation between tasks indicates there are meaningful individual differences in the speed-accuracy trade-off.
Bibliographical note© 2019 The Authors. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY/4.0/).
Funding: This work was supported by the ESRC (ES/K002325/1); and by the Wellcome Trust (104943/Z/14/Z).