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ERIC Number: EJ965213
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jan
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 89
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Binary ROCs in Perception and Recognition Memory Are Curved
Dube, Chad; Rotello, Caren M.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v38 n1 p130-151 Jan 2012
In recognition memory, a classic finding is that receiver operating characteristics (ROCs) are curvilinear. This has been taken to support the fundamental assumptions of signal detection theory (SDT) over discrete-state models such as the double high-threshold model (2HTM), which predicts linear ROCs. Recently, however, Broder and Schutz (2009) challenged this argument by noting that most of the data on which support for SDT is based have involved confidence ratings. The authors argued that certain types of rating scale usage may result in curved ROCs even if the generating process is thresholded in nature. From this point of view, only ROCs constructed via experimental bias manipulations are useful for discriminating between the models. Broder and Schutz conducted a meta-analysis and new experiments that compared SDT and the 2HTM using binary (yes-no) ROCs and found that many of these functions were linear, supporting 2HTM over SDT. We examine all the data reported by Broder and Schutz, noting important limitations in their methodology, analyses, and conclusions. We report a new meta-analysis and 2 new experiments to examine the issue more closely while avoiding the limitations of Broder and Schutz's study. These new data indicate that binary ROCs are curved in recognition, consistent with previous findings in perception and reasoning. Our results support classic arguments in favor of SDT and indicate that curvature in ratings ROCs is not task specific. We recommend the ratings procedure and suggest that analyses based on threshold models be treated with caution. (Contains 7 footnotes, 7 tables, and 8 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom