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Reaction Time

The relationship between reaction time, or the speed at which individuals respond to sensory information, and intelligence has long been a topic of debate among researchers in the fields of education and psychology. Discussion on the topic dates back to Sir Francis Galton, who hypothesized that intelligence was a manifestation of efficiency in underlying motor and perceptual abilities. To test his hypothesis, he assessed the reaction times and sensory discrimination abilities of thousands of individuals in his laboratories. His work, though anecdotal and inconclusive, inspired American researcher James Cattell to incorporate speeded sensory discrimination tasks into his own research on intelligence. These tasks included purely physical reactions to stimuli, such as measuring how quickly subjects could respond to sound, and more mental tasks, such ...

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