OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 52, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 1962
  • pp: 1179–1184

Visual Discrimination, an Interpretation in Terms of Detectability Theory

D. J. WEINTRAUB and H. W. HAKE  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 52, Issue 10, pp. 1179-1184 (1962)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (794 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Geometric squares, and rectangles (squares vertically elongated by 2%), were presented singly in a random sequence to three observers. By using the detectability-model parameter d′ as a measure, average discriminability was found to be 1.32. Two-, three-, and four-category response scales were shown to give equivalent discriminability data. Discriminability was not significantly affected by the inclusion of an extraneous stimulus (a square vertically elongated either 1% or 3%) interspersed randomly in the square-rectangle sequence without the observers’ knowledge. The data were interpreted as a favorable empirical test of detectability-theory assumptions applied to a visual discrimination task.

D. J. WEINTRAUB and H. W. HAKE, "Visual Discrimination, an Interpretation in Terms of Detectability Theory," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 52, 1179-1184 (1962)

Sort:  Author  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. W. W. Peterson and T. G. Birdsall, "The Theory of Signal Detectability," Electronic Defense Group, University of Michigan, Tech. Rep. No. 13 (1953).
  2. W. P. Tanner Jr. and T. G. Birdsall, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 30, 922 (1958).
  3. F. R. Clarke, T. G. Birdsall, and W. P. Tanner Jr., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 629 (1959).
  4. J. P. Egan, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 29, 482 (1957).
  5. W. P. Tanner Jr. and J. A. Swets, Psychol. Rev. 61, 401 (1954).
  6. An inspection of Fig. 1 (a) indicates that, as FAR and HR increase, the transformed values decrease. Such a standard-score transformation differs slightly from the transformation commonly employed. With respect to the literature cited as references, the axes in Figs. 2, 3, and 4 would have to be relabeled (1–FAR) and (1–HR). Alternately, if one inverts Figs. 2,3, and 4 (thus locating the ROC curves primarily in the upper left quadrant), they become equivalent to the figures found in the signal-detection literature.
  7. J. P. Egan, A. I. Schulman, and G. Z. Greenberg, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 31, 768 (1959).
  8. R. B. Sleight and G. H. Mowbray, J. Psychol. 31, 121 (1951).
  9. F. A. Veniar, J. Psychol. 26, 461 (1948).
  10. J. A. Swets, Science 134, 168 (1961).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited