What is the difference between "distractors" and "foils" in experimental design in psychology?

  • $\begingroup$ Aren't they the same ? $\endgroup$ – Robert Long May 23 '19 at 10:33
  • $\begingroup$ I'd think so too. However, if there are the same, why are they different words? $\endgroup$ – Tasha May 23 '19 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe because they originate in different languages? $\endgroup$ – Robert Long May 23 '19 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. Surely we cannot have an experiment which utalised both "distractors" and "foils". I started thinking because my supervisor told me to correct what I called "distractors" into "foils", I still don't see why... $\endgroup$ – Tasha May 23 '19 at 11:23

As far as I know foils and distractors are the same.

For example, in constructing multiple choice questions, with only a single correct answer, the incorrect answers are distractors or foils (or misleads), and the correct answers are targets.

This terminology may vary depending on sub-disciplines. I would suggest you ask your supervisor for some clarity.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Robert, will do! $\endgroup$ – Tasha May 23 '19 at 11:32

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