Signal Detection Theory and Roc Analysis in Psychology and Diagnostics: Collected Papers

By John A. Swets | Go to book overview

Introduction

The focus of this book is on detection and recognition as fundamental tasks that underlie most complex behaviors. As defined here, they serve to distinguish between two alternative, confusable stimulus categories, which may be perceptual or cognitive categories in the psychology laboratory, or different states of the world in practical diagnostic tasks.

The task of detection is to determine whether a stimulus of a specified category (call it category A) is present or not; a "signal" is to be distinguished from a stimulus from category B, consisting of background interference, or "noise." The task of recognition is to determine whether a stimulus known to be present, as a signal, is a sample from signal category A or a signal category B. The task of diagnosis can be either a detection or recognition task, or both. For example, Is there something abnormal on this X-ray image, and, if so, does it represent a malignant or benign condition? In the laboratory, the objective is to measure the acuity with which organisms can make perceptual or cognitive distinctions. In diagnostics, the objective is to assess the acuity or accuracy of human observers and of devices, working by themselves or in combination.

As a result of applying experimentally the concepts of signal detection theory, present understanding of these tasks is that they involve two independent cognitive processes--one of discrimination and one of decision. A discrimination process assesses the degree to which the evidence in an observation favors the existence of a signal (versus noise alone) or of Signal A (versus signal B). A decision process determines how strong the evidence must be in favor of alternative A to make response A, and makes a choice of A (or B) after each observation depending on whether the requisite evidence is met. Strength of evidence lies along a probabilistic continuum, and the decision maker sets a cutoff along the

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Signal Detection Theory and Roc Analysis in Psychology and Diagnostics: Collected Papers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Scientific Psychology Series ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • I - Theory, Data, and Measures 1
  • 1 - The Relative Operating Characteristic in Psychology 7
  • Summary 28
  • References and Notes 29
  • 2 - Form of Empirical Rocs in Discrimination and Diagnostic Tasks 31
  • References 56
  • 3 - Indices of Discrimination or Diagnostic Accuracy 59
  • References 95
  • II - Accuracy and Efficacy of Diagnoses 97
  • 4 - Measuring the Accuracy of Diagnostic Systems 99
  • Concluding Remarks 115
  • References and Notes 116
  • 5 - Choosing the Right Decision Threshold in High-Stakes Diagnostics 121
  • Concluding Remarks 140
  • References 141
  • III - Applications in Various Diagnostic Fields 143
  • 6 - Medical Imaging Techniques: A Review 147
  • Summary 164
  • References 165
  • 7 - Medical Imaging Techniques: An Illustrative Study 169
  • 8 - Enhancing and Evaluating Diagnostic Accuracy 185
  • References 199
  • Appendix a Feature List 199
  • Appendix B Checklist 201
  • 9 - Information Retrieval Methods 205
  • Appendix a Feature List 233
  • 10 - Predictive Validities of Aptitude Tests 235
  • References 248
  • 11 - Accuracy and Response Bias in Survey Research 249
  • Conclusions 267
  • References 267
  • 12 - System Operator Response to Warnings of Danger 269
  • References 290
  • Appendix: Computer Programs for Fitting Rocs 293
  • Author Index 295
  • Subject Index 303
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