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Journal of ExperimentalPsychology: Learning,Memory, and Cognition Copyright 1988by the AmericanPsychologicalAssociation,Inc.
 

Summary: Journal of ExperimentalPsychology:
Learning,Memory, and Cognition Copyright 1988by the AmericanPsychologicalAssociation,Inc.
1988,Vol. 14, No. 1, 33-53 0278-7393/88/$00.75
Decision Rules in the Perception and Categorization of
Multidimensional Stimuli
F. Gregory Ashby
University of California, Santa Barbara
Ralph E. Gott
Ohio State University
This article examines decision processes in the perception and categorization of stimuli con-
structed from one or more components. First, a general perceptual theory is used to formally
characterize large classes of existing decision models according to the type of decision boundary
they predict in a multidimensional perceptual space. A new experimentalparadigm is developed
that makes it possible to accurately estimate a subject's decision boundary in a categorization
task. Three experiments using this paradigm are reported. Three conclusions stand out: (a)
Subjectsadopted deterministicdecisionrules, that is, for a given location in the perceptual space,
most subjects always gave the same response; (b) subjects used decision rules that were nearly
optimal; and (c) the only constraint on the type of decision bound that subjects used was the
amount of cognitive capacity it required to implement. Subjects were not constrained to make
independent decisions on each component or to attend to the distance to each prototype.

  

Source: Ashby, F. Gregory - Department of Psychology, University of California at Santa Barbara

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences