Web search strategies and human individual differences: Cognitive and demographic factors, Internet attitudes, and approaches
Article first published online: 18 MAR 2005
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Volume 56, Issue 7, pages 741–756, May 2005
How to Cite
Ford, N., Miller, D. and Moss, N. (2005), Web search strategies and human individual differences: Cognitive and demographic factors, Internet attitudes, and approaches. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci., 56: 741–756. doi: 10.1002/asi.20168
- Issue published online: 7 APR 2005
- Article first published online: 18 MAR 2005
- Manuscript Accepted: 1 JUN 2004
- Manuscript Revised: 13 FEB 2004
- Manuscript Received: 22 MAY 2003
The research reported here was an exploratory study that sought to discover the effects of human individual differences on Web search strategy. These differences consisted of (a) study approaches, (b) cognitive and demographic features, and (c) perceptions of and preferred approaches to Web-based information seeking. Sixty-eight master's students used AltaVista to search for information on three assigned search topics graded in terms of complexity. Five hundred seven search queries were factor analyzed to identify relationships between the individual difference variables and Boolean and best-match search strategies. A number of consistent patterns of relationship were found. As task complexity increased, a number of strategic shifts were also observed on the part of searchers possessing particular combinations of characteristics. A second article (published in this issue of JASIST; Ford, Miller, & Moss, 2005) presents a combined analyses of the data including a series of regression analyses.