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    A Cognitive Model of Surprise Judgements

    Maguire, Rebecca and Costello, Fintan and Keane, Mark T. (2006) A Cognitive Model of Surprise Judgements. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 28. pp. 531-536. ISSN 1069-7977

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    In this paper we outline a cognitive theory and model of surprise judgements which aims to explain how and why some events are considered to be surprising in a piece of text , while others are not. The model is based on a series of experiments carried out by Grimes-Maguire and Keane (2005a), which show that subtle changes in the predictability of a discourse can have a profound effect on a reader’s perceived surprise at certain events. Rather than defining surprise in terms of expectation, we conceive of it as a process involving Representation-Fit. We have implemented this theory in a computational model that has two stages: the Integration stage entails building a coherent representation of the scenario by means of an objective knowledge base rooted in WordNet. The Analysis stage then outputs a surprise rating for a specified event, based on the degree to which that event can be supported by the prior representation. Simulations reveal a strong correspondence between model and participant generated surprise ratings.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Cite as: Costello, F., Keane, M. T, & Maguire, R. (2006). A Cognitive Model of Surprise Judgments. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 28. Retrieved from
    Keywords: Surprise; cognitive modelling; representation;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 12639
    Depositing User: Rebecca Maguire
    Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2020 15:32
    Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
    Publisher: Cognitive Science Society
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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