Signal Detection Theory Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  784 Words
Date:  2022-11-20

Question 1: Define the following terms about signal detection theory: hit, miss, false alarm, and correct rejection.

Hit involves when the participant guesses the target correctly. Miss is when the target was present, but the involved participant does not see it. False alarm is defined as when the participant says the target is there when it is not present while correct rejection is when the participant correctly states that the target is not present.

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Question 2: An individual's hit rate is .79, and the correct-rejection rate is .71. Find out their miss rate and false alarm rate.

In the occurrence, whereas individual's hit rate is .79 and his or her correct rejection rate is .71, this individual's miss rate would be evaluated as .21 while their false alarm rate would be defined as .29. Moreover, an individual's hit rate plus his or her miss rate would is equal to 1, and an individual's correct rejection rate plus their false alarm rate also equals 1.

Question 3: Examine your sensitivity measures for each of the three conditions (144, 400, and 900 noise dots). Describe what these numbers indicate about your accuracy rates.

In my sensitivity measures, (144, 400, and 900 noise dots indicate multiple occurrences regarding my accuracy rates. The 144 and 400 noise dots suggest that I had a high average while the 900-noise dot stated I had a lower average compared with the global average. Thus, it means that I have difficulties discerning the line when there was an occurrence of "noise." Also, these numbers indicate that my accuracy rates are reliable since both comprise of a hit rate and false alarm rate which are essential for calculating individual sensitivity measures.

Question 4: Signal detection theory implies that a certain amount of noise accompanies a signal. Identify the "noise" present when you accomplished the task. Explain how it influenced your performance on the task. Identify at least two origins of noise for the detection of an audio signal.

Since the signal detection theory derives that a given amount of noise ever accompanies a signal, there are various sources of noises depending on the involved environment in which an individual is placed. In the case of this task, there was noise present as I completed the work. For instance, since I was in a quiet room, there was noise emanating from an air ceiling fan as well as from the air conditioning vents. Although it did not affect my performance as much, I could hear a distant distraction. On the other hand, there are sources of noise for the detection of an audio signal. For example, noise can be created by light bulbs. Also, we produce noise. The heartbeat and breathing generate a noise that could affect an individual's ability to absorb or pick up an auditory signal. Additionally, individual auditory neurons could spontaneously fire even when there are not stimulated by an external stimulus which could potentially mask an auditory stimulus.

Question 5: Name at least three jobs that need the employee to detect signals to do the job effectively accurately. It means that signal detection methods could be used to evaluate performance.

Under the involvement of the signal detection theory, various jobs require the workers to detect signal to ensure effective handling of the job accurately. Some of the jobs include radiologists, radar operators, sonar operators, airport luggage screeners, and dermatologists. In these jobs, it means that the signal detection theory can be used to evaluate performance (Swets, 2014).

Question 6: Summarize at least two additional study methods for measuring detection. Give your view of whether the signal detection theory is superior to these. Give reasons to support your answer.

In the involvement of other research methods for measuring detection in psychology, there are various methods. For example, the use of tabular methods. Tabular methods deliver the ability of yes or no tasks in the evaluation of signal detection. There is also the method of using SDT developed software that is programmed to handle the detection and general-purpose computer software such as statistical analysis software (Stanislaw & Todorov, 1999). According to Massoni, Gajdos, and Vergnaud (2014), there are methods such as the quadratic scoring rule and the matching probability in detection in the study of psychology. However, signal detection theory is superior to these methods considering that the signal detection theory is a theoretical framework that provides better results in respect to other methods. Also, it could include the use of the ROC (receiving operating characteristic) curve.


Massoni, S., Gajdos, T., & Vergnaud, J. C. (2014). Confidence measurement in the light of signal detection theory. Frontiers in psychology, 5, 1455. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01455

Stanislaw, H., & Todorov, N. (1999). Calculation of signal detection theory measures. Behavior research methods, instruments, & computers, 31(1), 137-149. Doi:10.3758/BF03207704

Swets, J. A. (2014). Signal detection theory and ROC analysis in psychology and diagnostics: Collected papers. Psychology Press.

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