We don't know what you did last summer. On the importance of transparent reporting of reaction time data pre-processing

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Hannah D. Loenneker - , University of Tübingen (First author)
  • Erin M. Buchanan - , Harrisburg University of Science and Technology (Author)
  • Ana Martinovici - , Erasmus University Rotterdam (Author)
  • Maximilian A. Primbs - , Radboud University Nijmegen (Author)
  • Mahmoud M. Elsherif - , University of Birmingham (Author)
  • Bradley J. Baker - , Temple University (Author)
  • Leonie A. Dudda - , Radboud University Nijmegen (Author)
  • Dušica F. Đurđević - , University of Belgrade (Author)
  • Ksenija Mišić - , University of Belgrade (Author)
  • Hannah K. Peetz - , Radboud University Nijmegen (Author)
  • Jan P. Röer - , Witten/Herdecke University (Author)
  • Lars Schulze - , Free University of Berlin (Author)
  • Lisa Wagner - , University of Zurich (Author)
  • Julia K. Wolska - , Manchester Metropolitan University (Author)
  • Corinna Kührt - , Chair of Engineering Psychology and Applied Cognitive Research, Chair of Differential and Personality Psychology (Joint last author)
  • Ekaterina Pronizius - , University of Vienna (Joint last author)


In behavioral, cognitive, and social sciences, reaction time measures are an important source of information. However, analyses on reaction time data are affected by researchers' analytical choices and the order in which these choices are applied. The results of a systematic literature review, presented in this paper, revealed that the justification for and order in which analytical choices are conducted are rarely reported, leading to difficulty in reproducing results and interpreting mixed findings. To address this methodological shortcoming, we created a checklist on reporting reaction time pre-processing to make these decisions more explicit, improve transparency, and thus, promote best practices within the field. The importance of the pre-processing checklist was additionally supported by an expert consensus survey and a multiverse analysis. Consequently, we appeal for maximal transparency on all methods applied and offer a checklist to improve replicability and reproducibility of studies that use reaction time measures.


Original languageEnglish
Article number172
Pages (from-to)14-37
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024

External IDs

Scopus 85182408036
ORCID /0000-0002-6418-6479/work/157319070
Mendeley 58dec90e-71fd-3be9-884c-4f9be35341b2



  • Transparency, Pre-processing, Expert consensus survey, Checklist, Multiverse analysis, Reaction time