This thesis is concerned with concepts and procedures involved
in the development of programs by which computers may interview people.
Based on the hypothesis that the style of the questions is very
important in a computer interview, an analysis of four medical interviewing
programs was attempted. Two variables emerged from this
analysis namely Encouragement (Encouraging Phrases) and Chattiness
Six experiments were then conducted to test the usefulness of the
above two variables in a computer interview.
The results of the six experiments were as follows:
a) The use of random Encouragement and Chattiness; seems to have a
significant effect on. interviewee's acceptance of a computer interview.
b) There appears to be an optimum for the amount of Encouragement and
Chattiness used in a computer interview.
c) Random Chattiness seems to have no effect on interviewee's acceptance
of a human interview, while random Encouragement might have a negative
d) For a computer interview random patterns of Encouragement and
Chattiness seem as good as more planned patterns of the two variables.
e) The accuracy of the derived information and the interviewees'
acceptance of a computer interview on a general subject may be as
good as that for a human interview.
From these results the original hypothesis is seen to be too limited
and in its place a conceptual analysis of the essential features of
computer based interview programming is developed.
Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.