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Instructional Software for
Statistics & Experimental Psychology

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Statistical Decision Theory

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Decision Theory: Title Card

Decision Theory

Decision theory is all about "making decisions under conditions of uncertainty." It is one set of concepts applied to the Hypothesis Testing Model of Inferential Statistics, Signal Detection Theory (aka "Sensory Decision Theory"), and "Error Management Theory."

The screens (aka "cards") in this application (aka "stack") provide interactive practice with various aspects of these models.

Decision Theory: Instructions and Help

Instructions and Explanation: Built into the program

Each of the ways decision theory is applied in this program has instructions and explanation built into the program. When the user clicks on the "Info" button, a seocnd window opens with this information.

The "Info" window in this image is displaying the information for the Hypothesis Testing Model of Inferential Statistics.

Decision Theory: Hypothesis Testing Model of Inferential Statistics

Cell Label

This screen (aka "card") provides the user with an opportunity to simulate a research situation where a prospective new "treatment" is being compared with an established treatment.

Then a practitioner can try the new technique and decides whether or not the new treatment makes a difference.

Click here to view a video of the simulation

Decision Theory: Signal Detection Theory (aka "Sensory Decision Theory")

Trials for Signal Detection Theory Task

This simulation is included to show the formal similarity between Signal Detection Theory and the Hypothesis Testing Model of Inferential Statistics.

Instructions and Explanation for "Signal Detection Theory"

More Insructions

Included to show the Instructions for the Signal Detection Theory simulation.

Error Management Theory

Which Error is Critical

"Error Management" theory recognizes a basic truth of making decisions under conditions of uncertainty: It is impossible to make a correct decision every time.

Error Management basically continues the discuss of "Which decision error is worse: Type-I or Type II?" When should Type-I errors be minimized? When should Type-II?

Some time ago Chris Spatz made a presentation at a teaching conference about where the 5% Type-I error criterion arose. Here's some of that information as I remember it.

`© 2005 by Burrton Woodruff. All Rights Reserved. Modified Sat, Dec 29, 2007