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October 2021

Cognitive style and on-line database search experience as predictors of Web search performance

Author(s): Kim, K. S.

Journal/Book: J Amer Soc Inform Sci. 2000; 51: 605 Third Ave, New York, NY 10158-0012, USA. John Wiley & Sons Inc. 558-566.

Abstract: This study sought to investigate the effects of cognitive style (field dependent and field independent) and on-line database search experience (novice and experienced) on the World Wide Web (WWW) search performance of undergraduate college students (n = 48). It also attempted to find user factors that could be used to predict search efficiency. Search performance, the dependent variable, was defined in two ways: (1) time required for retrieving a relevant information item, and (2) the number of nodes traversed for retrieving a relevant information item. The search tasks required were carried out on a University Web site, and included a factual task and a topical search task of interest to the participant. Results indicated that while cognitive style (FD/FI) significantly influenced the search performance of novice searchers, the influence was greatly reduced in those searchers who had on-line database search experience. Based on the findings, suggestions for possible changes to the design of the current Web interface and to user training programs are provided.

Note: Article Palmquist RA, Univ Texas, Grad Sch Lib & Informat Sci, SZB 546, D7000, Austin,TX 78712 USA


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