ERIC Number: ED317579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1990-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Investigations of Human Question Answering.
Graesser, Arthur C.
The development and testing of QUEST, a model of human question answering, are reported. QUEST accounts for answers adults produce for different categories of open-class questions, identifying the information sources associated with the content words in questions. Each information source is organized in a conceptual graph structure. The model suggests three convergence mechanisms that narrow the node space from dozens/hundreds to a handful of nodes that serve as good answers to a question. These mechanisms include: an arc search procedure to restrict the search; answer quality decrease as a function of structural distance; and a constraint satisfaction component to prune out potential answers that are conceptually incompatible with the queried node. QUEST was tested in four informational contexts: (1) expository texts on scientific mechanisms (192 and 162 college undergraduates); (2) narrative texts (110 undergraduates); (3) generic knowledge structures (500 trials with college students); and (4) situations with complex pragmatic constraints (telephone surveys of 336 citizens, interviews with 144 clerks, and filmed interviews using 436 questions). The model successfully predicted the likelihood of generating answers and the goodness-of-answer judgments. Seven tables and 10 figures present study data. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: Memphis State Univ., TN. Dept. of Psychology.