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Journal Article

Failure to apply signal detection theory to the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia may misdiagnose amusia

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Henry,  Molly
Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Henry_Failure.pdf
(Publisher version), 496KB

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Citation

Henry, M., & McAuley, J. D. (2012). Failure to apply signal detection theory to the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia may misdiagnose amusia. Music Perception, 30(5), 480-496. doi:10.1525/mp.2013.30.5.480.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000F-F101-3
Abstract
This article considers a signal detection theory (SDT) approach to evaluation of performance on the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA). One hundred fifty-five individuals completed the original binary response version of the MBEA (n = 62) or a confidence rating version (MBEA-C; n = 93). Confidence ratings afforded construction of empirical receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curves and derivation of bias-free performance measures against which we compared the standard performance metric, proportion correct (PC), and an alternative signal detection metric, d ′. Across the board, PC was tainted by response bias and underestimated performance as indexed by Az , a nonparametric ROC-based performance measure. Signal detection analyses further revealed that some individuals performing worse than the standard PC-based cutoff for amusia diagnosis showed large response biases. Given that PC is contaminated by response bias, this suggests the possibility that categorizing individuals as having amusia or not, using a PC-based cutoff, may inadvertently misclassify some individuals with normal perceptual sensitivity as amusic simply because they have large response biases. In line with this possibility, a comparison of amusia classification using d ′- and PC-based cutoffs showed potential misclassification of 33% of the examined cases.