varying by an average of

rzezucha

Senior Member
polish
"The meditators, but not members of the control group, became much more stable in their performance. That is, the amount of time they took before correctly pressing the button was consistent, varying by an average of 110 milliseconds." (Richard J. Davidson 'The Emotional Life of Your Brain'

The extract refers to the study in which the participants had to press the button when they heard a certain tone (e.g. low-pitched tone in the right ear). It was done quite quickly so theh made some mistakes. But after three months of meditation their performance improved. Now, I'm not sure about the expression in bold...
 
  • Sneem

    Member
    American English
    It really should be written in terms of standard deviation from the mean (average). It means they all approximately pressed the button at the same time with a standard deviation from the mean of 110 milliseconds (it took the slowest reactant no more than 110 milliseconds slower and the fastest no more than 110 milliseconds faster).
    You're correct in questioning the wording of this study, it should be more specific.
     
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