Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law

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Hey guys, welcome to this mometrix video on the Hick-Hyman Law, more commonly known as Hick’s Law. This law is named after the American psychologist
Ray Hyman, and the British psychologist William Hick. Hick’s Law states that the time it takes for
a person to make a decision increases as the amount of possible choices increase. So, essentially, Hick’s law illustrates one’s ability to make decisions with different amounts of uncertainty. To fully understand this, there are a few
terms you need to be familiar with: Reaction time reaction time refers to the
time between the onset of a stimulus and the start of the response. Movement time -movement time is the time it
takes to complete the onset of a movement And Response time response time is the time
it takes to process information and then to make a response. Reactions Time plus (+) Movement Time equals
(=) Response time Now, there are different types of reaction
times. There is the simple reaction, which is relevant to a single stimulus and a single possible response. Then there is Choice Reaction Time- which
means that there are several stimuli given, but only one must be selected for response;
and as Hick’s Law states, the more choices a person has, the slower their reaction time. There are several factors that affect reaction
time: Age- someone’s age can play a role into how
fast or how slow they react. As a person gets older, their reaction time
becomes slower. Gender- on average, males have faster reaction
times than females do; however, reaction times reduce less with age in females than they do with males. Stimulus intensity- increasing the stimulus
intensity will also improve one’s reaction time. For example, a loud bang will increase our
reaction time more so than a more quiet bang. Height- taller people will have slower reactions,
because of the greater distance the information has to travel from a person’s brain to the
active muscles. Shorter sprinters tend to win shorter races. Level of Alertness- being more alert can improve
reaction time. Hick actually came up with an equation to
calculate reaction time: Reaction time=movement time + Processing
speed x log2(n) N is the variable for the number of choices. You can find application for Hick’s law wherever
you look. Advertising companies use it to determine
features on their websites, restaurant’s use it to determine certain features on their menu’s, it’s used to output effective commercials, and so on. Hick’s Law helps companies to gauge average reaction times to certain features of their products. Typically the quicker one reacts to their product the better. I hope this video was helpful. See you next time!

3 thoughts on “Hick’s Law

  • Mometrix Academy Post author

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  • Reuben Williams Post author

    This was a good, clear review on what I learned in my Human Factors & Ergonomics class. Thanks!

  • Yache Li Post author


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