Mental architectures with selectively influenced but stochastically interdependent components

Ehtibar N. Dzhafarov, Richard Schweickert, Kyongje Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The way external factors influence distribution functions for the overall time required to perform a mental task (such as responding to a stimulus, or solving a problem) may be informative as to the underlying mental architecture, the hypothetical network of interconnected processes some of which are selectively influenced by some of the external factors. Under the assumption that all processes contributing to the overall performance time are stochastically independent, several basic results have been previously established. These results relate patterns of response time distribution functions produced by manipulating external factors to such questions as whether the hypothetical constituent processes in the mental architecture enter AND gates or OR gates, and whether pairs of processes are sequential or concurrent. The present study shows that all these results are also valid for stochastically interdependent component times, provided the selective dependence of these components upon external factors is understood within the framework of a recently proposed theory of selective influence. According to this theory each component is representable as a function of three arguments: the factor set selectively influencing it, a component-specific source of randomness, and a source of randomness shared by all the components.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-64
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical path network
  • Information processing time
  • Mental processing architecture
  • Parallel (concurrent) processes
  • Parallel-serial network
  • Response time
  • Selective influence
  • Serial (sequential) processes
  • Stochastic interdependence
  • Wheatstone bridge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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