Estimating across-trial variability parameters of the Diffusion Decision Model: Expert advice and recommendations

U. Boehm*, J. Annis, M.J. Frank, G.E. Hawkins, A. Heathcote, D. Kellen, A.M. Krypotos, V. Lerche, G.D. Logan, T.J. Palmeri, D. van Ravenzwaaij, M. Servant, H. Singmann, J.J. Starns, A. Voss, T.V. Wiecki, D. Matzke, E.J. Wagenmakers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


For many years the Diffusion Decision Model (DDM) has successfully accounted for behavioral data from a wide range of domains. Important contributors to the DDM’s success are the between-trial variability parameters, which allow the model to account for the various shapes of response time distributions encountered in practice. However, several researchers have pointed out that estimating the variability parameters can be a challenging task. Moreover, the numerous fitting methods for the DDM each come with their own associated problems and solutions. This often leaves users in a difficult position. In this collaborative project we invited researchers from the DDM community to apply their various fitting methods to simulated data and provide advice and expert guidance on estimating the DDM’s between-trial variability parameters using these methods. Our study establishes a comprehensive reference resource and describes methods that can help to overcome the challenges associated with estimating the DDM’s between-trial variability parameters.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-75
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Diffusion Decision Model
  • across-trial variability parameters
  • parameter estimation


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