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The role of individual differences in Internet searching: an empirical study

Ford, N., Miller, D. and Moss, N. (2001) The role of individual differences in Internet searching: an empirical study. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, 52 (12). pp. 1049-1066.

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This article reports the results of a study of the role of individual differences in Internet searching. The dimensions of individual differences forming the focus of the research consisted of: cognitive styles; levels of prior experience; Internet perceptions; study approaches; age; and gender. Sixty-nine Masters students searched for information on a prescribed topic using the AltaVista search engine. Results were assessed using simple binary relevance judgements. Factor analysis and multiple regression revealed interesting differences, retrieval effectiveness being linked to: male gender; low cognitive complexity; an imager (as opposed to verbalizer) cognitive style; and a number of Internet perceptions and study approaches grouped here as indicating low self-efficacy. The implications of these findings for system development and for future research are discussed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Information Studies
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2009 12:55
Last Modified: 13 May 2009 16:47
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/asi.1165
Status: Published
Publisher: Wiley
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1002/asi.1165
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/8118

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