Instance Theory

From Vandekerckhove, Matzke, and Wagenmakers, to explain why the mean response time of the participants in a lexical decision task reduces as a power law:

Instance theory stipulates that earlier experiences are stored in memory as individual traces or instances; upon presentation of a stimulus, these instances race to be retrieved, and the winner of the race initiates a response. Mathematical analysis shows that, as instances are added to memory, the finishing time of the winning instance decreases as a power function. Hence, instance theory provides a simple and general explanation of the power

Logan developed a theory called Instance Theory of Attention and Memory (#ITAM). In this theory, choice rule can be used to both predict the reaction time and the probability of the choice.

instance theory has an intuitive interpretation as well as good predictive power.

Planted: by ;

Lei Ma (2020). 'Instance Theory', Intelligence, 11 April. Available at: