Identification Task

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An Identification Task is a cognitive task that ...



  • (Strasburger, 2005) ⇒ Hans Strasburger. (2005). “Unfocussed Spatial Attention Underlies the Crowding Effect in Indirect Form Vision].” In: Journal of Vision, 5(11):8.
    • In a hierarchy of task complexity ranging from
      1. pattern detection (present/nonpresent),
      2. coarse grating discrimination[1] (horizontal/vertical),
      3. fine grating discrimination (orientation threshold), and
      4. character recognition or identification,
    • Tasks 1 and 2 can be treated as more or less equivalent and as different from Task 4. The distinctive characteristic of the highest-level perceptual tasks–recognition or identification–as compared to the lower level (discrimination) we there suggested to be the dimensionality of the decision space, i.e. the requirement for the observer to chose his or her response from a comparatively large number of alternatives.
  1. 1 The term “discrimination task” is sometimes used in a different meaning, implying the judgement of a quantity being larger or smaller than another (the corresponding psychometric function then goes from −1 to 1). This is not implied here, the intended meaning being that the observer can discriminate between two broadly different stimuli and thereby identify each. The term “identification task” is sometimes used for that case but is avoided here to reserve the concept of identification for those tasks where discrimination between a few cases will not solve the identification


    • Most efforts to develop identification aids start and end with the dichotomous key and its computer spin-offs, including the multiple entry key (a.k.a. polyclave, interactive key, etc.). There are many other identification tasks, starting with the most commonly used: instant recognition. Here is a preliminary list of identification tasks:
    • Each is briefly described below, including a definition taken from Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.