We can group Reaction Time experiments into two very basic camps: Simple reaction time and Choice reaction time. Simple reaction time experiments measure your reaction time to the presentation of a simulus without your having to make decisions regarding the nature of the stimulus. For example, a picture may appear on the screen at random intervals in time. In a simple reaction time experiment, your task is to hit some key or button as fast as you can upon appearance of the picture.
Choice reaction time experiments involve, in addition to reacting to the presentation of a stimulus, your descriminating some defining characteristic of that stimulus. For instance, the signal might be a letter, so it would be your task to say the name of the letter (or, as would be the case with on-line experiments, hit the appropriate letter key).
In the following, you will be presented with two experiments. The first experiment is a simple reaction time experiment. Here you will be presented with a sequence of stimulae, at randomly varying intervals of time. Your task is to hit a particular key as quickly as you can upon presentation of each stimulus. Following the simple reaction time experiment, you will be able to observe the data collected. This data tells you what your reaction times were for each trial, as well as your average reaction time.
The Basic Reaction Time experiment consists of two blocks of trials. In the first block you will test your right hand; in the second block you will test your left hand. Each block will be preceeded by a very brief instruction. Once you have read the instructions, you will hit a key. Then, a prompt will appear telling you to begin the block of trials.