Validating the random search model for two targets of different difficulty

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-180
Journal / PublicationPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


A random visual search model was fitted to 1,788 search times obtained from a nonidentical double-target search task. 30 Hong Kong Chinese (13 men, 17 women) ages 18 to 33 years (M=23, SD=6.8) took part in the experiment voluntarily. The overall adequacy and prediction accuracy of the model for various search time parameters (mean and median search times and response times) for both individual and pooled data show that search strategy may reasonably be inferred from search time distributions. The results also suggested the general applicability of the random search model for describing the search behavior of a large number of participants performing the type of search used here, as well as the practical feasibility of its application for determination of stopping policy for optimization of an inspection system design. Although the data generally conformed to the model, the search for the more difficult target was faster than expected. The more difficult target was usually detected after the easier target and it is suggested that some degree of memory-guided searching may have been used for the second target. Some abnormally long search times were observed and it is possible that these might have been due to the characteristics of visual lobes, non optimum inter fixation distances and inappropriate overlapping of lobes, as has been previously reported. © Perceptual and Motor Skills 2010.