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Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, v94 n1 p83-94 Jul 2010

Delayed matching to sample is typically a two-alternative forced-choice procedure with two sample stimuli. In this task the effects of varying the probability of reinforcers for correct choices and the resulting receiver operating characteristic are symmetrical. A version of the task where a sample is present on some trials and absent on others is analogous to a yes/no recognition task. We describe data from two experiments where an asymmetry in performance in the yes/no task could be attributed to a change in response bias with increasing retention-interval duration from a matching-law perspective, but not from a signal-detection perspective. Both approaches make explicit assumptions about response bias. The apparent inconsistency between the two approaches to the treatment of response bias is resolved in terms of a model proposed by K. G. White and J. T. Wixted (1999) which predicts asymmetrical matching-law functions and receiver operating characteristics without making any assumptions about response bias. (Contains 9 figures.)

Descriptors: Response Style (Tests), Psychology, Probability, Gender Differences, Stimuli, Recognition (Psychology), Models, Feedback (Response), Task Analysis, Bias, Memory, Experiments, Reinforcement, Animals

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: jeab[at]; Web site:

Autor: White, K. Geoffrey; Wixted, John T.


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