Draw out the unconsciousness with the response time

Response time is the duration taken by a task or a decision-making process of a person and is known to be short when the cognitive management is easy or when something is strongly correlated unconsciously. Hence response time has been used for a long time in cognitive psychology and perceptual psychology to study the mental process, unconscious bias, or associative memory.

AHP Analytic
Hierarchy Process

AHP is decision-making methodology to make the best decision when there are various options.

People don’t find it hard to compare two options but do find it difficult to compare lots of options simultaneously. AHP is a methodology to use pairwise comparison repeatedly instead of comparing various options at once, to figure out the public’s preferences. If there are 5 options, we’d have to do 10 pairwise comparison, which is all the possible pairs.

By analyzing the score table that’s been used while conducting the pairwise comparison, we can digitize each option’s weight, as well as check how consistently one made each decision.  

AHP Analytic Hierarchy Process 계층화분석법

AHP vs iAHP?

However, AHP is difficult to evaluate. Once the number of options increases, the number of pairwise comparisons also increases geometrically. Also, the evaluation is done with 1-9 scale and it can be quite tricky to decide the score. Therefore, it can be hard to do lots of AHPs in a short amount of time.

iAHP is a way to overcome these limits and to understand the true unconscious preference. It measures the amount of time to make a decision, rather than a score, which makes it possible to measure the comparisons more deeply and easily.

When conducting the pairwise comparison, the process of deciding the relative preference with the score is substituted by the response time (RT).

It takes longer to decide if it’s hard to detect the difference between the two options.

  • The subject simply needs to choose between the two options.
  • The mental load caused by decision making can be used to estimate the relative preference.

iAHP screen to decide the emotional effect of the warning messages and graphic warnings on the tobacco packages. Users are asked to click whichever one that feels stronger as fast as possible.

The advantage of iAHP

  • iAHP makes it possible to understand deep and intuitive preference by measuring the unconscious preference
  • By shortening the measurement time and by lessening the fatigability required by the experiment, iAHP allows people to verify lots of options fast.
IAHP의 장점

Performing iAHP with touchscreen device. Measures the choice and response time automatically.

IAT: Implicit Association Test


IAT is a method used in cognitive psychology to measure unconscious and deeply rooted stereotype. IAT compares the amount of time spent to sort out two categories.

  • Sorts out two categories as fast as possible by using the buttons.
  • Sorts out the value that is associated with the category as fast as possible by using the buttons.
  • The decision-making time would be shortened when more strongly associated category-value is placed on the same side (left/right)

The advantage of IAT

  • Can measure the unconscious bias and stereotypes
  • Can measure what the subjects is not willing to say, or the things that can’t be detected by survey/interview.