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Abstract

Building upon previous research on the concepts of inquiring minds and elicitation styles (Wu, 2005; Wu & Liu, 2003), this study aims to identify the relationships between the theoretical constructs of elicitation behavior and user satisfaction in terms of the relevance, utility, and satisfaction of search results, search interaction processes, and overall search activities. Descriptive statistical analysis is applied to compare the user satisfaction ratings with respect to the concepts of inquiring minds and elicitation styles. The results suggest that the stereotyped elicitation style received the lowest user satisfaction ratings compared with functionally and situationally oriented styles. It is suggested that the intermediaries take into account the characteristics of search questions and, accordingly, adapt their professional mindsets to search interview situations; that is, using an inquiring mind in the query formulation process as default mode with functional and situational styles of elicitations would be helpful for enhancing the user's satisfaction ratings. Future research is suggested to better understand and to improve professional talk in information services.