What's the point?

Roger C. Schank, Gregg C. Collins, Ernest Davis, Peter N. Johnson, Steve Lytinen, Brian J. Reiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present a theory of conversation comprehension in which a line of the conversation is "understood" by relating it to one of seven possible "points". We define these points, and present examples where it seems plausible that the failure to "get the point" would indeed constitute a failure to understand the conversation. We argue that the recognition of such points must proceed in both a top down and bottom up fashion, and thus is likely to be quite complicated. Finally, we see the processing of information in the conversation to be dependent upon which point classification the user decides upon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-275
Number of pages21
JournalCognitive Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Artificial Intelligence


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