Reports

Superstition: A Matter of Bias, Not Detectability

Science  06 Jan 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4324, pp. 88-90
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4324.88

Abstract

Pigeons discriminated between stimulus changes dependent on their pecking and stimulus changes occurring independently of their behavior. Their performance was accurate, and when the payoffs for "hits" and "correct rejections" were varied, their response bias varied in a fashion similar to that of human observers detecting signals in a background of noise.