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This phenomenon is called "Hick's law" and is said to be a measure of the "rate of gain of information".
The law is usually expressed by the formula Hick's law has interesting modern applications in marketing, where restaurant menus and web interfaces (among other things) take advantage of its principles in striving to achieve speed and ease of use for the consumer.
His insertion method, often referred to as "pure insertion", was based on the assumption that inserting a particular complicating requirement into an RT paradigm would not affect the other components of the test.
This assumption—that the incremental effect on RT was strictly additive—was not able to hold up to later experimental tests, which showed that the insertions were able to interact with other portions of the RT paradigm. Hick (1952) devised a CRT experiment which presented a series of nine tests in which there are n equally possible choices.
The first scientist to measure reaction time in the laboratory was Franciscus Donders (1869).He was the first to use rigorous reaction time tests with the express intention of determining averages and ranges of individual differences in mental and behavioral traits in humans.Galton hypothesized that differences in intelligence would be reflected in variation of sensory discrimination and speed of response to stimuli, and he built various machines to test different measures of this, including reaction time to visual and auditory stimuli.Despite this, Donders' theories are still of interest and his ideas are still used in certain areas of psychology, which now have the statistical tools to use them more accurately. The experiment measured the subject's reaction time based on number of possible choices during any given trial.