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The optimal experimental design for multiple alternatives perceptual search

Finlayson, NJ; Manser-Smith, K; Balraj, A; De Haas, B; Schwarzkopf, DS; (2018) The optimal experimental design for multiple alternatives perceptual search. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics , 80 (8) pp. 1962-1973. 10.3758/s13414-018-1568-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Perceptual bias is inherent to all our senses, particularly in the form of visual illusions and aftereffects. However, many experiments measuring perceptual biases may be susceptible to nonperceptual factors, such as response bias and decision criteria. Here, we quantify how robust multiple alternative perceptual search (MAPS) is for disentangling estimates of perceptual biases from these confounding factors. First, our results show that while there are considerable response biases in our four-alternative forced-choice design, these are unrelated to perceptual biases estimates, and these response biases are not produced by the response modality (keyboard vs. mouse). We also show that perceptual bias estimates are reduced when feedback is given on each trial, likely due to feedback enabling observers to partially (and actively) correct for perceptual biases. However, this does not impact the reliability with which MAPS detects the presence of perceptual biases. Finally, our results show that MAPS can detect actual perceptual biases and is not a decisional bias towards choosing the target in the middle of the candidate stimulus distribution. In summary, researchers conducting a MAPS experiment should use a constant reference stimulus, but consider varying the mean of the candidate distribution. Ideally, they should not employ trial-wise feedback if the magnitude of perceptual biases is of interest.

Type: Article
Title: The optimal experimental design for multiple alternatives perceptual search
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3758/s13414-018-1568-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3758/s13414-018-1568-x
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: Perceptual bias, Methods, Decision bias, Response bias, Size perception
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10060643
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