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Can sample-specific simulations help detect low base-rate taxonicity?

, : Can sample-specific simulations help detect low base-rate taxonicity?. Psychological Assessment 17(4): 446-461

The authors examined the role of the sample-specific simulations (SSS; A. M. Ruscio & J. Ruscio, 2002; J. Ruscio & A. M. Ruscio, 2004) procedure in detecting low base-rate taxa that might otherwise prove elusive. The procedure preserved key distributional characteristics for moderate to high base-rate taxa, but it performed inadequately for low base-rate taxa, with low to moderate nuisance covariance, decreasing indicator validity, and increasing average nuisance covariance. Visual inspection of the curves produced by the SSS procedure, combined with the expectation that the inchworm test should produce a clear peak for low base-rate taxonic samples, led to inappropriate conclusions about the suitability of data. The authors speculate that examination of low base-rate taxa using SSS may require other algorithms for generating comparison distributions, consideration of the shape of the whole curve, and/or relaxation of the expectation that a clear peak will emerge with the inchworm test.


PMID: 16393011

DOI: 10.1037/1040-3590.17.4.446

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