Volume 46, Issue 2 (March 2001)
The Application of Signal Detection Theory to Decision-Making in Forensic Science
Signal Detection Theory (SDT) has come to be used in a wide variety of fields where noise and imperfect signals present challenges to the task of separating hits and correct rejections from misses and false alarms. The application of SDT helps illuminate and improve the quality of decision-making in those fields in a number of ways. The present article is designed to make SDT more accessible to forensic scientists by: (a) explaining what SDT is and how it works, (b) explicating the potential usefulness of SDT to forensic science, (c) illustrating SDT analysis using forensic science data, and (d) suggesting ways to gain the benefits SDT analyses in the course of carrying out existing programs of quality assessment and other research on forensic science examinations.