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

By John A. Swets | Go to book overview

3
Indices of Discrimination or Diagnostic Accuracy

Subjects in experiments on perception, learning, memory, and cognition are often required to make a series of fine discriminations. In a common method, a single stimulus is presented on each trial and the subject indicates which of two similar stimuli it is, or from which of two similar categories of stimuli it was drawn. In addition, in several practical settings, professional diagnosticians and prognosticators must say time and again which of two conditions, confusable at the moment of decision, exists or will exist. Among them are physicians, nondestructive testers, product inspectors, process-plant supervisors, weather forecasters, mineralogists, stockbrokers, librarians, survey researchers, and admissions officers. There is interest in knowing both how accurately the experimental subjects and professionals perform and how accurately their various tools perform, and a dozen or more indices of discrimination accuracy are in common use. In this chapter I cover a way of discriminating among those indices that permits sifting the ones that are valid and reliable from the ones that are not. This proposed touchstone for indices is the relative (or receiver) operating characteristic (ROC).

In this chapter I argue that there is no model-free approach to confusion data, and specify the models implied by several common indices. Many of the points I make may be familiar to experimental psychologists from previous discussions of signal detection theory, but they are generalized now to provide a theoretical overview of questions usually addressed heuristically, and with uneven success. The package is presented as a useful contribution to other fields and to those who have avoided the indices of detection theory in favor of indices presumed to make fewer or weaker assumptions.

The path of this chapter is not simple and quick, but the outcome is quite

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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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