Behavioral Models of Signal Detection and Detection Models of Choice
University of Auckland, New Zealand
Nevin, Jenkins, Whittaker, and Yarensky ( 1977) and Davison and Tustin ( 1978) initiated a synthesis of two previously distinct areas within experimental psychology, namely, signal-detection theory (e.g., Green & Swets, 1974), and free-operant choice theory (e.g., Baum, 1974). This chapter continues this synthesis, moving closer to a parsimonious and integrated treatment of the effects of reinforcers and stimuli in signal-detection and free-operant procedures.
In a typical signal-detection procedure the subject must choose between two
possible concurrent response alternatives (e.g., "Yes" or "No"; peck left or
peck right) following each presentation of one of two stimuli. Behavioral
approaches to signal-detection performance have focused on this presentation of concurrently available response alternatives, stressing its procedural
similarity to the standard free-operant concurrent-schedule procedure ( Davison
Jenkins, 1985; Davison &
Tustin, 1978; Nevin et al., 1977). Hence, Davison and
Tustin ( 1978) developed their model of signal-detection
performance from the standard model of concurrent-schedule performance, the generalized matching law ( Baum, 1974), given by the equation:
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Publication information: Book title: Signal Detection:Mechanisms, Models, and Applications. Contributors: Michael L. Commons - Editor, John A. Nevin - Editor, Michael C. Davison - Editor, Sheila M. McDonald - Editor. Publisher: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of publication: Hillsdale, NJ. Publication year: 1991. Page number: 39.
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