Modeling Web search: Preliminary results

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Abstract

This paper reports preliminary results from a study modeling the interplay between multitasking, cognitive coordination, and cognitive shifts during Web search. Study participants conducted three Web searches on personal information problems. Data collection techniques included pre- and post-search questionnaires, think-aloud protocols, Web search logs, observation, and post-search interviews. Key findings include: (1) users Web searches included multitasking, cognitive shifting and cognitive coordination processes, (2) cognitive coordination is the hinge linking multitasking and cognitive shifting that enables Web search construction, (3) cognitive shift levels determine the process of cognitive coordination, and (4) cognitive coordination is interplay of task, mechanism and strategy levels that underpin multitasking and task switching. An initial model depicts the interplay between multitasking, cognitive coordination, and cognitive shifts during Web search. Implications of the findings and further research are also discussed.

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