Costs and Payoffs in Perceptural Research
MICHIGAN UNIV ANN ARBOR ENGINEERING PSYCHOLOGY LAB
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A persistent problem in psychological research that reaches conclusions about inaccessible processes or experiences inside a subjects head is to validate those conclusions--that is, to exhibit persuasive reasons to believe that emitted behavior in some sense faithfully reports inaccessible processes. In the mid-1950s, perceptual researchers widely adopted an approach that might be called validation by cupidity. If the experimenter is willing to define a correct response, he can reward the subject for correct responses and not for wrong ones however, costs and payoffs are rather feeble means of instructing a subject what to do, or of ensuring that he does it.