Detection measures for visual inspection of X-ray images of passenger baggage
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In visual inspection tasks, such as airport security and medical screening, researchers often use the detection measures d' or A' to analyze detection performance independent of response ten-dency. However, recent studies that manipulated the frequency of targets (target prevalence) indicate that da with a slope parameter of 0.6 is more valid for such tasks than d' or A'. We in-vestigated the validity of detection measures (d', A', and da) using two experiments. In the first experiment, 31 security officers completed a simulated X-ray baggage inspection task while re-sponse tendency was manipulated directly through instruction. The participants knew half of the prohibited items used in the study from training, whereas the other half were novel, thereby es-tablishing two levels of task difficulty. The results demonstrated that for both levels, d' and A' de-creased when the criterion became more liberal, whereas da with a slope parameter of 0.6 re-mained constant. Eye-tracking data indicated that manipulating response tendency affected the decision component of the inspection task rather than search errors. In the second experiment, 124 security officers completed another simulated X-ray baggage inspection task. Receiver op-erating characteristic (ROC) curves based on confidence ratings provided further support for da, and the estimated slope parameter was 0.5. Consistent with previous findings, our results imply that d' and A' are not valid measures of detection performance in X-ray image inspection. We recommend always calculating da with a slope parameter of 0.5 in addition to d' to avoid poten-tially wrong conclusions if ROC curves are not available.