Some More Sensitive Measures of Sensitivity and Response Bias

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In this article, the author proposes a new pair of sensitivity and response bias indices and compares them to other measures currently available, including d′ and β of signal detection theory. Unlike d′ and β, these new performance measures do not depend on specific distributional assumptions or assumptions about the transformation from stimulus information to a discrimination judgment. With simulated and empirical data, the new sensitivity index is shown to be more accurate than d′ and 16 other indices when these measures are used to compare the sensitivity levels of 2 experimental conditions. Results from a perceptual discrimination experiment demonstrate the feasibility of the new distribution-free bias index and suggest that biases of the type defined within the signal detection theory framework (i.e., the placement of a decision criterion) do not exist, even under an asymmetric payoff manipulation.

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