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Abstract

Users' individual differences and tasks are important factors that influence the use of information systems. Two independent investigations were conducted to study the impact of differences in users' cognition and search tasks on Web search activities and outcomes. Strong task effects were found on search activities and outcomes, whereas interactions between cognitive and task variables were found on search activities only. These results imply that the flexibility of the Web and Web search engines allows different users to complete different search tasks successfully. However, the search techniques used and the efficiency of the searches appear to depend on how well the individual searcher fits with the specific task.