Information on Entities, People, Acts
Analyzing Associations
Concrete Versus Generalized Actions
Analyses Using Generalizations of Elements

When you are viewing an action on the Action Form, three popup menus  in the darkened menu area allow you to go to entities, people, and acts that you have defined. All three kinds of element are displayed on the Element Form, which is described here. Clicking the Return to action button on the form takes you back to the action you were examining before dealing with entities, people, or actions.

Information on Entities, People, Acts

Creating An Element

Clicking in the Name of ... text field produces a blinking cursor, where you can enter, or edit, the name of an element. Your typing is saved when you press Enter or click some other element on the screen. Keep names short because the New entity, New person, and New act menus expand to the size of the names within them, and one or more of these menus will be pushed off the screen if names are too long.

Deleting An Element

To remove a defined element from your study, present that element in the Element Form. Substitute the word delete for the name of the element, and press Enter. This removes the element, and leaves the form ready for defining a new element.

Generalizations of a deleted element are transferred to the deleted element's concrete manifestations.

Relevant Actions

When you first arrive at the screen for an element, the Containing Actions box lists the actions in which the element appears. An action is included in the list if the element was coded in any of the Action-Frame categories for that action.

After an association analysis, the Containing Actions box lists actions which contributed to the reported results.


You can specify how an entity, person, or act is related to more general categories by using the popup menu titled Choose a generalization. An item selected from the popup menu will be listed in the Generalizations box below the popup menu.

Element X is a generalization of Y if you answer "yes" to the question: Is Y a kind of X? Or simply, Is Y an X? (Sometimes you may prefer the question: Is Y a part of X?) Here are some examples.

An element has to be defined before it appears in the Choose a generalization popup menu. For example, you would have to define the entity "car", the person "woman", and the action "help" before the generalizations above could be specified. Generalized elements are defined in the usual way, by selecting New entity or New person or New act in the popup menus within the darkened area at the top of the screen. You may define entities or people or acts that do not appear directly in any action, but which are generalized versions of elements that do appear.

Cascading Generalizations

Choosing a generalization may cause the addition of more than one element in the generalizations listing. The program lists the generalization that you chose, and all of its generalizations, and all of their generalizations, etc.

For example, suppose that you previously defined "car" as a kind of "machine". Then when you specify Ford as a kind of car, the program infers that a Ford is a kind of machine, and both "car" and "machine" are listed.

Removing Generalizations

Clicking on an item in an element's generalizations list to select it, then clicking the Cut selected generalization button, removes the item. However, this works only for items that are directly linked to the element.

For example, suppose you are working on the person "husband", with husband identified as a kind of "man", while man separately is identified as a kind of "male". Both "man" and "male" appear as generalizations of husband. "Male" reappears if you try to delete it, as long as "man" remains, because the program keeps inferring that a man is a kind of male. But cutting "man" removes both "man" and "male".

Concrete Forms

When you specify that X is a generalization of Y, you simultaneously are specifying that Y is a more concrete form of X. For example, a Ford is a concrete form of car, Heather is a concrete form of woman, tutoring is a concrete form of helping.

The box labeled Concrete forms lists the element's concrete forms, plus all of their concrete forms, etc.

Moving Between Elements

Double-clicking an action in the Generalizations box or in the Concrete forms box fetches the clicked element to the Element Form. The new element replaces the element currently being viewed in the Element Form.

Analyzing Associations

You can determine how actions in a narrative associate entities and people and acts. The analyses are based on Action-Frame codings, which must be completed before beginning association analyses.


The procedure for analyzing direct associations is as follows.

The Act associations box lists acts that occurred when the focal element served in ways specified in the constraints. The Entity associations box lists entities that appeared within the constrained Action-Frame categories. The Person associations box lists people who appeared in the constrained categories. If a person is the focal element in an association analysis, then the results in the Person associations box show the person's social networks, as manifested in the narrative.

The listings show the numbers of actions in which the focal element was associated with other Action-Frame elements. The counts include repetitions of actions. The actual actions contributing to the results are specified in the Containing Actions list.

Concrete Versus Generalized Actions

If you have defined generalized actions (as opposed to generalizations of act elements) then the radio button for Generalized containing actions at the top middle of the form will be enabled. Select this and you will see all of the generalized actions in which the focal element occurs. The lists at the bottom of the window will display association analyses using the generalized actions.

Only concrete actions are analyzed when the button for Concrete containing actions is checked. Only generalized actions are analyzed when the button for Generalized containing actions is checked.


Analyses Using Generalizations of Elements

If the Generalize checkbox at the lower left of the form is unmarked, the program determines how actions relate the focal element to other elements, working only with actions in which the focal element directly appears, and reporting only entities and people that have been coded directly in those actions. (The analysis uses concrete actions or generalized actions, depending on which radio button is selected at the top middle of the form.)

However, if the Generalize checkbox is marked, the program uses generalization specifications to expand the number of actions considered, and to reduce the variety of entities, people, and acts reported. The analysis includes any action that involves the focal element, and also any action that involves a concrete form of the focal element. The analysis reports only the most generalized forms of entities, people, and acts that arise in the included actions. (Again, the analysis is conducted over either concrete actions or generalized actions, depending on the selected radio button at the top middle of the form.)

Suppose, for example, that the definitions of "Mary" and "Jane" specify that each is a "wife," and the definitions of "Bob" and "Joe" specify that each is a "husband." When analyzing "wife" as agent with the Generalize checkbox marked, the program considers any action in which the agent was "wife," or "Mary," or "Jane." On finding actions involving "Bob" or "Joe," the report gives information about "husband."