Testing Reader Ethical Judgments over the Course of a Narrative

Authors Greg Lessard, Michael Levison

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Greg Lessard
Michael Levison

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Greg Lessard and Michael Levison. Testing Reader Ethical Judgments over the Course of a Narrative. In 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 32, pp. 147-152, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2013)


We present a web-based environment - an Ethics Workbench - which allows a reader's ethical judgments to be solicited while reading a narrative. Preliminary results show generally consistent scores across subjects and test conditions, and suggest that it is possible to measure how individual readers respond to texts in terms of ethical judgments, how the linearity inherent in narrative plays a role in affecting ethical judgments, and how readers appear to synthesize judgments over the course of a text. Applications of the model include the empirical analysis of the ethical aspects of reading, the more detailed study of ethical issues, the potential for eliciting ethical discussions, and a means of dynamically planning texts to achieve maximum effect with respect to reader judgments.
  • Directed acyclic graphs
  • literary narratives
  • ethical evaluations


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