ASIST AM 03 2003 START ConferenceManager    

The Role of Narrative in Understanding Digital Video: An Exploratory Analysis

Todd Wilkens, Anthony Hughes, Barbara M. Wildemuth, Gary Marchionini

Presented at ASIST 2003 Annual Meeting -- Humanizing Information Technology: From Ideas to Bits and Back (ASIST AM 03 2003), Westin Long Beach, Long Beach, California, October 20 - 23, 2003


Narrative is perhaps the oldest and most widely used form for organizing information and human experience, thus, it is not surprising that there is a significant body of research concerning narrative and its importance to comprehension and understanding. One important outcome of this research is the concept of narrative intelligence, the human tendency to fit experience into narrative form. This research is extremely relevant to information seeking in general and sense-making in particular. This paper outlines the basic principles and research supporting the concept of narrative intelligence and its applicability to the ways in which people make sense of digital video. We explore relevant theory and research in sense-making, surrogates, narrative, and narrative intelligence and then present the preliminary results of two research studies. The first clarifies and operationalizes the concept of narrative as it relates to video. The second demonstrates how narrativity can have significant effects on information seeking and sense-making in digital video. Results from these studies have implications for how syntactic form can be used as a means of indexing digital video.

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