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ERIC Number: EJ889211
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8855
Applying Signal-Detection Theory to the Study of Observer Accuracy and Bias in Behavioral Assessment
Lerman, Dorothea C.; Tetreault, Allison; Hovanetz, Alyson; Bellaci, Emily; Miller, Jonathan; Karp, Hilary; Mahmood, Angela; Strobel, Maggie; Mullen, Shelley; Keyl, Alice; Toupard, Alexis
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v43 n2 p195-213 Sum 2010
We evaluated the feasibility and utility of a laboratory model for examining observer accuracy within the framework of signal-detection theory (SDT). Sixty-one individuals collected data on aggression while viewing videotaped segments of simulated teacher-child interactions. The purpose of Experiment 1 was to determine if brief feedback and contingencies for scoring accurately would bias responding reliably. Experiment 2 focused on one variable (specificity of the operational definition) that we hypothesized might decrease the likelihood of bias. The effects of social consequences and information about expected behavior change were examined in Experiment 3. Results indicated that feedback and contingencies reliably biased responding and that the clarity of the definition only moderately affected this outcome. (Contains 1 table, 4 figures and 1 footnote.)
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Department of Applied Behavioral Science. Kansas University, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045-2133. Tel: 785-841-4425; Fax: 785-841-4425; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A