Finite and infinite state confusion models

Jan P.H. van Santen, Donald Bamber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A confusion model is defined as a model that decomposes response probabilities in stimulus identification experiments into perceptual parameters and response parameters. Historically, confusion models fall into two groups. Models in Group I, which includes Townsend's (Perception and Psychophysics, 1971, 9, 40-50) overlap model, were developed on the basis of the notion that stimulus identification is mediated by a finite number of internal states. We call the general class of models that have this processing interpretation finite state confusion models. Models in Group II, which includes Luce's (R. O. Luce et al., Eds., Handbook of Mathematical Psychology (Vol. I), New York: Wiley, 1963) biased choice model, were not developed on the basis of an explicit processing interpretation. It is shown here that models in Group II are not finite state confusion models. We prove in addition that except for Falmagne's (Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 1972, 9, 206-224) simply biased model models in Group II belong to a certain class of infinite state confusion models, namely, models asserting that stimulus identification is mediated by a continuous space of vectors representing detector activation levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Mathematical Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


Dive into the research topics of 'Finite and infinite state confusion models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this