Purdue University Graduate School
Shamloo PhD 2019.pdf (2.87 MB)
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posted on 2019-05-15, 14:08 authored by Farzin ShamlooFarzin Shamloo
In tasks with more than one path to succeed, it is possible that participants’ strategies vary and therefore, participants should not be analyzed as a homogeneous group. This thesis investigates individual differences in a two-dimensional categorization task with redundancy (i.e., a task where any of the two dimensions by itself suffices for perfect performance). Individual differences in learned knowledge and used knowledge are considered and studied. Participants first performed a categorization task with redundancy (training phase), and afterward were asked to do categorizations in which the previously redundant knowledge becomes decisive (testing phase). Using the data from the testing phase, dimension(s) learned by each participant were determined and the response patterns of each participant in the training phase was used to determine which dimension(s) were used. The used knowledge was assessed using two separate analyses, both of which look at accuracy and response time patterns, but in different ways. Analysis 1 uses iterative decision bound modeling and RT-distance hypothesis and Analysis 2 uses the stochastic version of general recognition theory. In Analysis 1, more errors and slower response times close to a decision bound perpendicular to a dimension indicate that a participant is using that dimension. Analysis 2 goes a step further and in addition to determining which dimension(s) are used, specifies in what way they were used (i.e., identifying the strategy of each participant). Possible strategies are described heuristically (unidimensional, time efficient and conservative) and then each heuristic is translated into a drift diffusion model by the unique way that strategy is assumed to affect trial-by-trial difficulty of the task. Finally, a model selection criterion is used to pick the strategy that is used by each participant.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Psychological Sciences

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Sebastien Hélie

Additional Committee Member 2

Richard Schweickert

Additional Committee Member 3

Gregory S. Francis

Additional Committee Member 4

F. Gregory Ashby