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Decision rules in the perception and categorization of multidimensional stimuli
 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
, 1988
"... This article examines decision processes in the perception and categorization of stimuli constructed from one or more components. First, a general perceptual theory is used to formally characterize large classes of existing decision models according to the type of decision boundary they predict in a ..."
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Cited by 171 (22 self)
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This article examines decision processes in the perception and categorization of stimuli constructed from one or more components. First, a general perceptual theory is used to formally characterize large classes of existing decision models according to the type of decision boundary they predict in a multidimensional perceptual space. A new experimental paradigm is developed that makes it possible to accurately estimate a subject's decision boundary in a categorization task. Three experiments using this paradigm are reported. Three conclusions stand out: (a) Subjects adopted deterministic decision rules, that is, for a given location in the perceptual space, most subjects always gave the same response; (b) subjects used decision rules that were nearly optimal; and (c) the only constraint on the type of decision bound that subjects used was the amount of cognitive capacity it required to implement. Subjects were not constrained to make independent decisions on each component or to attend to the distance to each prototype. Whenever an organism voluntarily responds to a stimulus, some decision process must evaluate the available perceptual and cognitive information and select an appropriate response. Decision processes are therefore of fundamental importance
TOWARD A UNIFIED THEORY OF DECISION CRITERION LEARNING IN PERCEPTUAL CATEGORIZATION
 JOURNAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR
, 2002
"... Optimal decision criterion placement maximizes expected reward and requires sensitivity to the category base rates (prior probabilities) and payoffs (costs and benefits of incorrect and correct responding). When base rates are unequal, human decision criterion is nearly optimal, but when payoffs are ..."
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Cited by 26 (12 self)
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Optimal decision criterion placement maximizes expected reward and requires sensitivity to the category base rates (prior probabilities) and payoffs (costs and benefits of incorrect and correct responding). When base rates are unequal, human decision criterion is nearly optimal, but when payoffs are unequal, suboptimal decision criterion placement is observed, even when the optimal decision criterion is identical in both cases. A series of studies are reviewed that examine the generality of this finding, and a unified theory of decision criterion learning is described (Maddox & Dodd, 2001). The theory assumes that two critical mechanisms operate in decision criterion learning. One mechanism involves competition between reward and accuracy maximization: The observer attempts to maximize reward, as instructed, but also places some importance on accuracy maximization. The second mechanism involves a flatmaxima hypothesis that assumes that the observer’s estimate of the rewardmaximizing decision criterion is determined from the steepness of the objective reward function that relates expected reward to decision criterion placement. Experiments used to develop and test the theory require each observer to complete a large number of trials and to participate in all conditions of the experiment. This provides maximal control over the reinforcement history of the observer and allows a focus on individual behavioral profiles. The theory is applied to decision criterion learning problems that examine category discriminability, payoff matrix multiplication and addition effects, the optimal classifier’s independence assumption, and different types of trialbytrial feedback. In every case the theory provides a good account of the data, and, most important, provides useful insights into the psychological processes involved in decision criterion learning.
On the Relation Between Baserate and CostBenefit Learning in Simulated Medical Diagnosis
, 2001
"... Observers completed a series of simulated medical diagnosis tasks that differed in category discriminability and baserate/costbenefit ratio. Point, accuracy, and decision criterion estimates were closer to optimal (a) for category d' = 2.2 than for category d' = 1.0 or 3.2, (b) when base ..."
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Cited by 17 (13 self)
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Observers completed a series of simulated medical diagnosis tasks that differed in category discriminability and baserate/costbenefit ratio. Point, accuracy, and decision criterion estimates were closer to optimal (a) for category d' = 2.2 than for category d' = 1.0 or 3.2, (b) when baserates, as opposed to costbenefits were manipulated, and (c) when the cost of an incorrect response resulted in no point loss (nonnegative cost) as opposed to a point loss (negative cost). These results support the "flatmaxima" (von Winterfeldt & Edwards, 1982) and COmpetition Between Reward and Accuracy (COBRA; Maddox & Bohil, 1998a) hypotheses. A hybrid model that instantiated simultaneously both hypotheses was applied to the data. The model parameters indicated that (a) the rewardmaximizing decision criterion quickly approached the optimal criterion, (b) the importance placed on accuracy maximization early in learning was larger when the cost of an incorrect response was negative as opposed to nonnegative, and (c) by the end of training the importance placed on accuracy was equal for negative and nonnegative costs.
Category discriminability, baserate, and payoff effects in perceptual organization
 Perception & Psychophysics
, 2001
"... (i.e., d ¢ level), base rates, and payoffs was examined. Baserate and payoff manipulations across two category discriminabilities allowed a test of the hypothesis that the steepness of the objective reward function affects performance (i.e., the flatmaxima hypothesis), as well as the hypothesis th ..."
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Cited by 10 (7 self)
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(i.e., d ¢ level), base rates, and payoffs was examined. Baserate and payoff manipulations across two category discriminabilities allowed a test of the hypothesis that the steepness of the objective reward function affects performance (i.e., the flatmaxima hypothesis), as well as the hypothesis that observers combine baserate and payoff information independently. Performance was (1) closer to optimal for the steeper objective reward function, in line with the flatmaxima hypothesis, (2) closer to optimal in baserate conditions than in payoff conditions, and (3) in partial support of the hypothesis that baserate and payoff knowledge is combined independently. Implications for current theories of baserate and payoff learning are discussed.
Feedback effects on cost–benefit learning in perceptual categorization
 Memory & Cognition
, 2001
"... Two experiments were conducted in which the effects of different feedback displays on decision criterion learning were examined in a perceptual categorization task with unequal cost–benefits. In Experiment 1, immediate versus delayed feedback was combined factorially with objective versus optimal cl ..."
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Cited by 8 (5 self)
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Two experiments were conducted in which the effects of different feedback displays on decision criterion learning were examined in a perceptual categorization task with unequal cost–benefits. In Experiment 1, immediate versus delayed feedback was combined factorially with objective versus optimal classifier feedback. Immediate versus delayed feedback had no effect. Performance improved significantly over blocks with optimal classifier feedback and remained relatively stable with objective feedback. Experiment 2 used a withinsubjects design that allowed a test of modelbased instantiations of the flatmaxima (von Winterfeldt & Edwards, 1982) and competition between reward and accuracy (Maddox & Bohil, 1998a) hypotheses in isolation and of a hybrid model that incorporated assumptions from both hypotheses. The modelbased analyses indicated that the flatmaxima model provided a good description of early learning but that the assumptions of the hybrid model were necessary to account for later learning. An examination of the hybrid model parameters indicated that the emphasis placed on accuracy maximization generally declined with experience for optimal classifier feedback but remained high, and fairly constant for objective classifier feedback. Implications for cost–benefit training are discussed.
On the generality of optimal versus objective classifier feedback effects on decision criterion learning in perceptual categorization
 Memory & Cognition
"... Biased category payoff matrices engender separate reward and accuracymaximizing decision criteria. Although instructed to maximize reward, observers use suboptimal decision criteria that place greater emphasis on accuracy than is optimal. This study compared objective classifier feedback (the obj ..."
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Cited by 7 (1 self)
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Biased category payoff matrices engender separate reward and accuracymaximizing decision criteria. Although instructed to maximize reward, observers use suboptimal decision criteria that place greater emphasis on accuracy than is optimal. This study compared objective classifier feedback (the objectively correct response) with optimal classifier feedback (the optimal classifier’s response) at two levels of category discriminability when zero or negative costs accompanied incorrect responses for two payoff matrix multiplication factors. Performance was superior for optimal classifier feedback relative to objective classifier feedback for both zero and negative cost conditions, especially when category discriminability was low, but the magnitude of the optimal classifier advantage was approximately equal for zero and negative cost conditions. The optimal classifier feedback performance advantage did not interact with the payoff matrix multiplication factor. Modelbased analyses suggested that the weight placed on
Homo economicus in visual search
 J. Vision
, 2009
"... How do reward outcomes affect early visual performance? Previous studies found a suboptimal influence, but they ignored the nonlinearity in how subjects perceived the reward outcomes. In contrast, we find that when the nonlinearity is accounted for, humans behave optimally and maximize expected re ..."
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Cited by 4 (0 self)
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How do reward outcomes affect early visual performance? Previous studies found a suboptimal influence, but they ignored the nonlinearity in how subjects perceived the reward outcomes. In contrast, we find that when the nonlinearity is accounted for, humans behave optimally and maximize expected reward. Our subjects were asked to detect the presence of a familiar target object in a cluttered scene. They were rewarded according to their performance. We systematically varied the target frequency and the reward/penalty policy for detecting/missing the targets. We find that 1) decreasing the target frequency will decrease the detection rates, in accordance with the literature. 2) Contrary to previous studies, increasing the target detection rewards will compensate for target rarity and restore detection performance. 3) A quantitative model based on reward maximization accurately predicts human detection behavior in all target frequency and reward conditions; thus, reward schemes can be designed to obtain desired detection rates for rare targets. 4) Subjects quickly learn the optimal decision strategy; we propose a neurally plausible model that exhibits the same properties. Potential applications include designing reward schemes to improve detection of lifecritical, rare targets (e.g., cancers in medical images).
Decision boundaries in onedimensional categorization
 Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
, 1997
"... Decisionboundary theories of categorization are often difficult to distinguish from exemplarbased theories of categorization. The authors developed a version of the decisionboundary theory, called the singlecutoff model, that can be distinguished from the exemplar theory. The authors present 2 ex ..."
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Cited by 4 (1 self)
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Decisionboundary theories of categorization are often difficult to distinguish from exemplarbased theories of categorization. The authors developed a version of the decisionboundary theory, called the singlecutoff model, that can be distinguished from the exemplar theory. The authors present 2 experiments that test this decisionboundary model. The results of both experiments point strongly to the absence of single cutoffs in most participants, and no participant displayed use of the optimal boundary. The range of nonoptimal solutions shown by individual participants was accounted for by an exemplarbased adaptivelearning model. When combined with the results of previous research, this suggests that a comprehensive model of categorization must involve both rules and exemplars, and possibly other representations as well. In this article, we contrast decisionboundary and exemplarbased models of categorization. The decisionboundary