Using Unexpected Simplicity to Control Moral Judgments and Interest in Narratives

Authors Antoine Saillenfest, Jean-Louis Dessalles

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Antoine Saillenfest
Jean-Louis Dessalles

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Antoine Saillenfest and Jean-Louis Dessalles. Using Unexpected Simplicity to Control Moral Judgments and Interest in Narratives. In 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 32, pp. 214-227, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2013)


The challenge of narrative automatic generation is to produce not only coherent, but interesting stories. This study considers the problem within the Simplicity Theory framework. According to this theory, interesting situations must be unexpectedly simple, either because they should have required complex circumstances to be produced, or because they are abnormally simple, as in coincidences. Here we consider the special case of narratives in which characters perform actions with emotional consequences. We show, using the simplicity framework, how notions such as intentions, believability, responsibility and moral judgments are linked to narrative interest.
  • Narratives
  • Kolmogorov Complexity
  • Interest
  • Moral Judgment
  • Intention
  • Responsibility


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