Graph theory and the analysis of ordered tree responses

Year: 1996

Author: Bailey, Michael, Butcher, Jude

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The analysis of changes in people's cognitive structures has been found to be an important means of studying the influence of education programs. Ordered trees are a valid tool for identifying differences and changes in cognitive structure. In an earlier paper, the authors applied graph-theoretic concepts to the analysis of ordered tree task responses and suggested some quantitative and qualitative measures applicable across tree and associative network type concept structures. The present paper develops further the possible application of and discusses issues involved in the use of some graph-theoretic concepts and procedures to the analysis of concept maps. One of the chief difficulties in applying quantitative methods to the analysis of concepts is the development of meaningful measures which can be applied to both associative and hierarchical structures. The application of the suggested measures is illustrated with some example data.