A Further Study of the Dichotomization Theory in Detection of Information

Gershon Ben‐Shakhar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of the present study is to test two predictions of the “Dichotomization Theory” on the detection of information. This theory relates the differential autonomic responsivity in the detection of information task to basic psychophysiological phenomena—the orienting response and its habituation. The theory assumes that two independent habituation processes take place in the typical detection experiment: that of the relevant stimuli and that of the neutral stimuli, with a complete generalization of habituation within each stimulus category. It is suggested that this theory can explain results of past experiments unaccounted for by any of the other theoretical approaches in the area. Two predictions of the dichotomization theory were tested using the skin conductance response in a “card test” type of experiment. Two hundred subjects participated in the experiment and were randomly assigned to five equal‐sized groups. The results tend to support the present theoretical approach. On the baas of the results of the present study and previous ones, it is suggested that a two‐factor theory could be a sufficient explanation for the detection phenomenon. One factor relates to the role of habituation in the detection task which is described by the dichotomization theory, and the second factor relates to possible “signal value” property of the relevant stimulus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-413
Number of pages6
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1977
Externally publishedYes


  • Detection of information
  • Dichotomization theory
  • Habituation
  • Orienting response


Dive into the research topics of 'A Further Study of the Dichotomization Theory in Detection of Information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this