In one task that measures the times that participants take to respond to each item of a task some of the response times were considered outliers as they are more than 3SD above the mean of the participants' responses. I was advised to remove the outliers and sum the other results in order to obtain the total amount of time spent in the task. However, I do not want to just eliminate those values as I think that would not be a reliable method of representing the child's responses and would obviously change their results, so how does one do it when dealing with outliers? Is it ok just to take them? I ask this because I want to compare the sums of each child, thus I do not think that just eliminating the outliers is an ok prodecure.
I do not think it represents bad data as the participants tend to take longer to respond to items they consider more difficult, but they take more than 3SD above the mean to give a response, thus not being that representative of the overall time they take to respond. So I feel like it is a valuable information but I do not know if leaving the results untreated would be the most suitable method when the goal is to compare groups on response times.