Protocol Modeling, Bifurcation/Bootstrapping, And Convince Me: Computer-Based Methods For Studying Beliefs And Their Revision


Ranney, M., & Schank, P. (1995). Protocol modeling, bifurcation/bootstrapping, and Convince Me : Computer-based methods for studying beliefs and their revision. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments and Computers, 27, 239-243.


This paper traces a progression of four computer-based methods for studying and fostering both the structure and the on-line development of knowledge. Each empirical technique employs ECHO, a connectionist model that instantiates the theory of explanatory coherence (TEC). First, verbal protocols of subjects’ reasonings were modeled post hoc. Next, ECHOpredicted, a priori, subjects’ textbased believability ratings. Later, the bifurcation/bootstrapping method was developed to elicit and account for individuals’ background knowledge, while assessing intercoder reliability regarding ECHO simulations. Finally, Convince Me, our “reasoner’s workbench,” automated the explication both of subjects’ knowledge bases and of their belief assessments; the Convince Me software permits contrasts between the model’s predictions and subjects’ proposition-wise evaluations. These experimental systems enhance our understanding of the relationships among-and determinant features regarding-hypotheses, evidence, and the arguments that incorporate them.

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