< Suspense Knowledge Acquisition Study

Consent Document for Enrolling Participants in a Research Study
Georgia Institute of Technology

Project Title: Collecting Knowledge for an Artificially Intelligent Model of Suspense


Mark Riedl, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)
Brian Magerko, Ph.D. (Co-Principal Investigator)
Brian O'Neill
Justin Permar

Sponsor: National Science Foundation

You are being asked to be a volunteer in a research study.


This project aims to collect knowledge about common story events from readers in order to supply that knowledge to an Artificial Intelligence system that will understand suspense. We want to learn what kind of events people expect to see in different types of stories. We need your assistance in describing what you expect to happen.

Exclusion/Inclusion Criteria:

Any adult age 18 or older may participate in this study.


The study, if you chose to participate, consists of filling out a series of survey questions in response to a story prompt. You will be given a story scenario. For each scenario, we will ask you to list the events that occur, from beginning to end, that get you from the conditions at the beginning of the story to the condition we request at the end of the story. You will then repeat this process for three more stories. The total time for participating in this survey will be less than 1 hour.

Risks or Discomforts:

The risks involved are no greater than those involved in daily activities such as basic computer use.


There is no direct benefit to subjects from participating. At a broader level, this research will allow for future work, in which AI systems could understand and make use of knowledge that people typically have about stories, which is provided by the subjects in this study.

Compensation to You:

There is a no compensation for participating in this study.


Your privacy will be protected to the extent allowed by law. To protect your privacy, we will not be collecting any personal information about you. Your answers will only be connected to a participant ID number. Your survey answers will be stored on Google Drive servers (protected by username and password access). After the completion of data collection, the survey answers will be moved to a local computer. Your name and any other fact that might point to you will not appear when results of this study are presented or published.

To make sure that this research is being carried out in the proper way, the Georgia Institute of Technology IRB may review study records. The Office of Human Research Protections may also look over study records during required reviews.

Costs to You:

There are no costs to you, other than your time, for being in this study.

In Case of Injury/Harm:

If you are injured as a result of being in this study, please contact Principal Investigator, Mark Riedl, Ph.D., at telephone (404) 894-3152. Neither the Principal Investigator nor Georgia Institute of Technology has made provision for payment of costs associated with any injury resulting from participation in this study.

Participant Rights:

Questions about the Study:

If you have any questions regarding the conduct or research goals of this study please contact the principal investigator:

Dr. Mark Riedl:
Mail: riedl@cc.gatech.edu
Phone: 404 894 3152 (CoC)
School of Interactive Computing
Georgia Institute of Technology
85 5th Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30332

Questions about Your Rights as a Research Participant:

If you have any questions about your rights as a research participant, you may contact:

Ms. Melanie Clark, Georgia Institute of Technology
Office of Research Integrity Assurance, at (404) 894-6942.

Ms. Kelly Winn, Georgia Institute of Technology
Office of Research Integrity Assurance, at (404) 385-2175.

By clicking the link below and completing the survey, it means that you have read -- or have had read to you -- the information on this page, and you would like to be a volunteer in this research study.