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Memory bias in observer-performance literature

Authors
  • Haygood, Tamara Miner1
  • Smith, Samantha1
  • Sun, Jia1
  • 1 University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, United States , (United States)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Medical Imaging
Publisher
Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2018
Volume
5
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1117/1.JMI.5.3.031412
PMID: 30840725
PMCID: PMC6152535
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The objective of our study was to determine how authors of published observer–performance experiments dealt with memory bias in study design. We searched American Journal of Roentgenology online and Radiology using “observer study” and “observer performance.” We included articles from 1970 or later that reported an observer performance experiment using human observers. We recorded the methods used by the authors to order presentation of the conditions being tested and images within sets for viewing. We recorded use and length of any time gap between viewings. We included 110 experiments. Forty-five used methods not subject to memory bias. Of 68 remaining experiments, 30 (44.1%) ordered the viewing of tested conditions to decrease memory bias. Fifteen (22.1%) ordered the tested conditions in ways that may create memory bias. Eleven (16.2%) intermixed the tested conditions. Forty-three (63.2%) used random or pseudorandom ordering of images within sets. Forty-six (67.6%) used a time gap (median 14 days) between viewings. Six (8.8%) did not use a time gap. Thirty-six (52.9%) did not indicate what methods they used in at least one studied parameter. Therefore, we conclude that 22.1% of the experiments could improve their methods of ordering tested conditions. Completeness of reporting could be improved by including more details regarding methods of ameliorating memory bias.

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