Manipulative speed and accuracy

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Manipulative speed and accuracy

Among the fundamental questions since the beginning of experimental psychology is when and why people are fast or accurate. In all the psychological aspects, there has been a major trade off between speed and accuracy. Speed and accuracy have been considered in the human resources area in respect to supervisory monitoring, selection of planning strategies, self-efficacy perceptions, and the relationship between personality and productivity. It is surprising to learn why some people are fast and other accurate and the circumstances where people are both fast and accurate to optimize task performance (Forster, Higgins & Bianco, 2003).

In most instances, fast performance of tasks results in reduced accuracy and as individuals move close to the goal of completing a task, the speed increases, and the accuracy decreases. The trade-offs involved in the speed and accuracy aspects are inconclusive, and studies provide inconsistent findings. The underlying aspect is that speed and accuracy are processed by two interacting but separate neuro-cognitive systems with diverse features. The manipulation of speed in performing a task is likely to have a direct impact on the expected accuracy. Manipulative speed involves altering the normal pace of completing certain tasks with the aim of increasing the work output at the expense of the quality and accuracy aspects.

The mind of a human being has a mechanism of controlling the tradeoff between accuracy and manipulative speed for a normal circumstance. However, an induced form of speed in performing a particular task has an effect on the accuracy expected. Speed and accuracy baselines can be manipulated leading to either high or low performance in a system (Perri, Berchicci, Spinelli & Di Russo, 2014).

In psychology, manipulative speed has an effect on accuracy and hence important to understand the underlying mechanisms. The study of psychology focuses on behavior and the mind. Thus, the understanding of the relationship between speed and accuracy should have a basis for the behavior of individuals when subjected to certain manipulative conditions.


Forster J., Higgins E.T., & Bianco A.T. (2003) Speed and accuracy decisions in task          performance: Built-in trade off or separate strategic concerns? Organizational Behavior    and Human Decision Processes, 90; 148-164.

Perri, R. L., Berchicci, M., Spinelli, D., & Di Russo, F. (2014) Individual differences in response speed and accuracy are associated with specific brain activities of two interacting       systems: Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8, 251.


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