personal equation



  • A factor which is intended to compensate for the errors introduced by a given observer during any observation. For instance, an individual detecting the start of an event will have a delay, usually in the 0.2 to 0.5 second range, before being able to depress a stopwatch button. The personal equation, which can be calculated through the statistical analysis of the reaction times of an individual over many observations and recordings, can then be incorporated to reduce this source of error.