Most binary classifiers work by processing the input to produce a scalar response and comparing it to a threshold value. The various measures of classifier performance assume, explicitly or implicitly, probability distributions $P_s$ and $P_n$ of the response belonging to either class, probability distributions for the cost of each type of misclassification, and compute a performance score from the expected cost. In machine learning, classifier responses are obtained experimentally and performance scores are computed directly from them, without any assumptions on $P_s$ and $P_n$. Here, we argue that the omitted step of estimating theoretical distributions for $P_s$ and $P_n$ can be useful. In a biometric security example, we fit beta distributions to the responses of two classifiers, one based on logistic regression and one on ANNs, and use them to establish a categorisation into a small number of classes with different extremal behaviours at the ends of the ROC curves.