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ERIC Number: EJ878718
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Mar
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0022-5002
Stimulus Disparity and Punisher Control of Human Signal-Detection Performance
Lie, Celia; Alsop, Brent
Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v93 n2 p185-201 Mar 2010
The present experiment examined the effects of varying stimulus disparity and relative punisher frequencies on signal detection by humans. Participants were placed into one of two groups. Group 3 participants were presented with 1:3 and 3:1 punisher frequency ratios, while Group 11 participants were presented with 1:11 and 11:1 punisher frequency ratios. For both groups, stimulus disparity was varied across three levels (low, medium, high) for each punisher ratio. In all conditions, correct responses were intermittently reinforced (1:1 reinforcer frequency ratio). Participants were mostly biased away from the more punished alternative, with more extreme response biases found for Group 11 participants compared to Group 3. For both groups, estimates of discriminability increased systematically across the three disparity levels and were unaffected by the punisher ratios. Likewise, estimates of response bias and sensitivity to the punisher ratios were unaffected by changes in discriminability, supporting the assumption of parameter invariance in the Davison and Tustin (1978) model of signal detection. Overall, the present experiment found no relation between stimulus control and punisher control, and provided further evidence for similar but opposite effects of punishers to reinforcers in signal-detection procedures. (Contains 5 figures and 2 tables.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Indiana University Department of Psychology. Bloomington, IN 47405-1301. Tel: 812-334-0395; FAX: 812-855-4691; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand