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Personal factors and efficiency of web searching

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Item Summary

Title: Personal factors and efficiency of web searching
Authors: Chen, Jeng-Her
Keywords: web searching
Issue Date: Dec 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
Abstract: The study aimed to answer the compelling question: "What makes an efficient Web searcher?" Based on Bandura's self-efficacy theory, Research Question No. 1 asks "How do self-efficacy, problem-solving confidence, and the use of Google's Advanced Search affect timely successful Web searching?" Based on Newell and Simon's problem space theory, Research Question No. 2 asks "Do efficient searchers share the same mental organization of keyword importance as the non-efficient searchers?" And Research Question No. 3 asks "Is a higher level of search performance characterized by increasingly consistent mental organizations of keyword importance?" Participants searched the Web using Google. Each had up to 30 minutes to find the answer to the task: "How did Taiwan's native (aboriginal) people communicate in writing from roughly 200 to 400 years ago?" Data analyses involved survival analysis for RQ1 with 86 subjects; TRICIR and t-test for RQ2 and Kendall's concordance of coefficient for RQ3 with 88 subjects.
I tested five hypotheses. For RQ1, I found that Google's Advanced Search hurts timely successful Web searching, that self-efficacy helps, and that confidence does not help. For RQ2, I found that there is a significant difference in mental organization of keyword importance in two levels of search performance. For RQ3, I found that the efficient searchers have higher consensus in the mental organization of keyword importance than those of non-efficient searchers. In summary, I suggest what not to do--do not use Google's Advanced Search, and what to do--form a what I call "Decisive Problem Space" prior to searching with Google.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Communication and Information Sciences

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