### Abstract

A basic assumption of Signal Detection Theory – a special case of Bayesian Decision Theory – is that decisions are based on likelihood ratios (the likelihood ratio hypothesis). In a preceding paper, Glanzer et al. (2009) tested this assumption in recognition memory tasks. The tests consisted of formal proofs and computational demonstrations that decisions based on likelihood ratios produce three regularities (1. the Mirror Effect, 2. the Variance Effect, and 3. the z-ROC Length Effect). Glanzer et al. found that the three implied regularities do indeed hold for a wide range of item recognition memory studies taken from the literature. We now claim that the likelihood ratio regularities hold for decisions generally: decisions about sensory events, reasoning, weather forecasting, etc. An examination of past decision studies supports the generalization. We also report new experimental studies of decisions in two additional areas, semantic memory and mental rotation, further supporting the generalization. The results highlight the optimal characteristics of decision making in contrast to the current emphasis on its inefficiencies.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Article number | 103931 |

Journal | Cognition |

Volume | 191 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Oct 1 2019 |

### Fingerprint

### Keywords

- Bayesian Decision Theory
- Decision theory
- Decision-making
- Likelihood ratio
- Mirror effect
- Recognition memory
- Signal Detection Theory

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Language and Linguistics
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Cognitive Neuroscience

### Cite this

*Cognition*,

*191*, [103931]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.023

**Generality of likelihood ratio decisions.** / Glanzer, Murray; Hilford, Andrew; Kim, Kisok; Maloney, Laurence.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

*Cognition*, vol. 191, 103931. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.023

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Generality of likelihood ratio decisions

AU - Glanzer, Murray

AU - Hilford, Andrew

AU - Kim, Kisok

AU - Maloney, Laurence

PY - 2019/10/1

Y1 - 2019/10/1

N2 - A basic assumption of Signal Detection Theory – a special case of Bayesian Decision Theory – is that decisions are based on likelihood ratios (the likelihood ratio hypothesis). In a preceding paper, Glanzer et al. (2009) tested this assumption in recognition memory tasks. The tests consisted of formal proofs and computational demonstrations that decisions based on likelihood ratios produce three regularities (1. the Mirror Effect, 2. the Variance Effect, and 3. the z-ROC Length Effect). Glanzer et al. found that the three implied regularities do indeed hold for a wide range of item recognition memory studies taken from the literature. We now claim that the likelihood ratio regularities hold for decisions generally: decisions about sensory events, reasoning, weather forecasting, etc. An examination of past decision studies supports the generalization. We also report new experimental studies of decisions in two additional areas, semantic memory and mental rotation, further supporting the generalization. The results highlight the optimal characteristics of decision making in contrast to the current emphasis on its inefficiencies.

AB - A basic assumption of Signal Detection Theory – a special case of Bayesian Decision Theory – is that decisions are based on likelihood ratios (the likelihood ratio hypothesis). In a preceding paper, Glanzer et al. (2009) tested this assumption in recognition memory tasks. The tests consisted of formal proofs and computational demonstrations that decisions based on likelihood ratios produce three regularities (1. the Mirror Effect, 2. the Variance Effect, and 3. the z-ROC Length Effect). Glanzer et al. found that the three implied regularities do indeed hold for a wide range of item recognition memory studies taken from the literature. We now claim that the likelihood ratio regularities hold for decisions generally: decisions about sensory events, reasoning, weather forecasting, etc. An examination of past decision studies supports the generalization. We also report new experimental studies of decisions in two additional areas, semantic memory and mental rotation, further supporting the generalization. The results highlight the optimal characteristics of decision making in contrast to the current emphasis on its inefficiencies.

KW - Bayesian Decision Theory

KW - Decision theory

KW - Decision-making

KW - Likelihood ratio

KW - Mirror effect

KW - Recognition memory

KW - Signal Detection Theory

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85068161113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85068161113&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.023

DO - 10.1016/j.cognition.2019.03.023

M3 - Article

C2 - 31276947

AN - SCOPUS:85068161113

VL - 191

JO - Cognition

JF - Cognition

SN - 0010-0277

M1 - 103931

ER -