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Testing your reaction time - spreadsheet attached

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by vahramh, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. I'll start with a bit of a background...

    At the few intermediate and advanced riding courses with HART and Stay Upright, one exercise that I was never comfortable with was the swerving. No problems with the actual action of swerving, but I was always nervous about the instructor standing in front of me, and pointing in a direction at the last moment. What if I get it wrong? What if by the time I realize what direction to swerve, it's too late, and I run the instructor over? (in fact, I almost did it once, missing the instructor by a few centimeters).

    These thoughts make me nervous, and I end up occasionally trying to "guess" which direction the instructor will point to, despite screaming at myself in my mind - "Don't guess, relax, pay attention..."

    With another advanced course booked with HART in August, I decided to test my reaction times on the computer, and see what my limits are.

    A quick search on the internet didn't result in anything that would satisfy my requirements. All tests that I could find were of type "See - Act", whereas I wanted something like "See - Decide - Act".

    So, I dedicated my lunchtime today to writing a little MS Excel spreadsheet that does what I need.

    Given that I am probably not the only guy with this problem, I thought I'd share it with you guys, even though the spreadsheet is quite rudimentary.

    Basically, the program works like this: press the "Start" button, and get ready, with your left hand over the "Esc" key, and right hand over the "Enter" key. In a few seconds (random duration - between 4 and 9 seconds) the text "Left" or "Right" appears in the top left corner. As soon as you see it, react - press "Esc" for left, or "Enter" for right.

    You'll get your stats of getting it right, and averages of your reaction times.

    Of course you can ignore the direction, and always press the Esc key to see your "clean" reaction times, without the decision making.

    For me, the "clean" reaction times are between 0.15 - 0.25 seconds. Adding the decision making, I get between 0.35 - 0.45 with 90% accuracy. Taking it easier, I get between 0.35 - 0.55 seconds with 100% accuracy. If we add maybe 0.3 seconds for pushing the handlebar or reaching / squeezing the brake lever, to be on the safe side I really need to be about 1 second away from the danger to be safe - assuming I expect the danger to happen in the next 10 seconds!

    Anyway, if you think you could use it - enjoy!

    Edit: Just uploaded an improved version, with a couple of changes:

    1. If you try to guess and press Esc or Enter before the program tells you to do it, you'll get "Guess" as your result, and no time will be recorded;
    2. The average time will show only the average of attempts where you got it right ("OK" attempts);
    3. Fixed the formatting of reaction times to make more sense.

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1
  2. Fun little test, my best was around .34 :)
  3. Surely you wouldnt shouldnt be pressing wrong button , is that normal ?
  4. .34 for me
  5. This is good but It'd be better if it just showed an arrow rather than text saying 'right' or 'left' so your brain is just reacting rather than having to interpret first.
  6. 0.289 average with 100%

    best was 0.26

    i guess years of computer games help lol


    just got


  7. Just woke up, and with 2 sips of coffee in me I got:

    0.374023438 Left
    0.374023438 Right

    I'll try when I get home and see what I get then... very cool test!
  8. For what it's worth, for a situation with a:
    * alert driver
    * clear stimuli directly in the field of vision (e.g. a car entering the intersection in some distance front of you)
    * a Complex decision to make (e.g. do I have to stop? Can I swerve? Could I stop? Will I impact them? How do I get out of this mess? Which is the best course of action?)

    Reaction times in scientific studies place a typical Complex reaction time around 0.75 to 1.5 seconds, not including the time needed to move the hand or foot to engage the necessary controls.

    For situations where it's not a complex reaction (e.g. there's no threat assessment or complex evaluation of the scene... So, situations where a light comes on and the subject has to press a button, or knows they must perform a full-power emergency stop when the red light comes on) reaction times are predictably much faster.
  9. Spots - good point

    BiG DaN91 - don't get excited about 0.01 sec reaction time mate, it happened because you pressed a button before you were told a direction. Just uploaded a fixed version where it won't happen.

    Ballsy Mgee - You're probably right, but writing text in Excel is easier than putting a picture of an arrow into a cell :)

    Phil01 - You're right that one shouldn't be pressing the wrong button, but don't we all make the wrong decisions every now and then?
  10. You get a nod for the attempt at least.

  11. Insert> Symbol, there are plenty of text arrows in there you can use. Or cut and paste these →←
  12. Any chance you could make it appear like the actual three light box test? Cell 1A lights for left turns, Cell 1B for stops, cell 1C for right turns?

    Otherwise, pretty good work!
  13. Cool little sim.....(y)
  14. .31 best

    Average .4
  15. 0.22. 100%

    The amount of gaming I do kind of helps, sorry but this isn't really good but nice attempt.

    My brain reacts faster than my limbs meaning that I see what happens but can't put my motions into effect as fast as possible meaning in a crash or on to happen I wouldn't be able to move my hands and feet as fast meaning a crash or injury.

    mad though. it's a game for me amd I'm trying to break 0.20 :p will keep you posted