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Effect of Narrative Structures on Sensemaking
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Making sense of a given situation involves an active processing of information to achieve understanding. Such situations involve a common activity of analyzing a body of the given or derived data. Prior literature shows that during sensemaking process, individuals search for knowledge representation and encoding data in that representation to answer task specific questions. In this research we are interested to find implications of ‘narrative structure’ used as a mental model during knowledge representation phase of sense making process as proposed in ‘Pirolli & Card’s sensemaking model and to examine how this mental models affects overall quality of the synthesized knowledge derived during given analysis task. We chose academic domain for this research, and conducted series of user studies involving University researchers. For initial studies we interviewed and observed researchers to understand how individuals do literature review and synthesize knowledge. For final comparative study, participants were asked to do literature review using a visualization system, called StoryTree. We designed and developed StoryTree system, by analyzing data gathered during initial studies. This visualization system assisted participants during literature review, by facilitating them to organize intermediate literature details visually while reviewing given literature and by generating literature summary at the end of review task. We analyzed summary reports written by these participants using measures of narrative coherence and narrative richness to generate a report quality score. Our analysis shows that reports created with the support of visualization which implements narrative structure are more coherent and richer compare to the reports generated using visualization, which does not implement narrative structure.
Bhangaonkar, Sourabh Suhas (2015). Effect of Narrative Structures on Sensemaking. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from