Impact of Individual Differences on Web Searching Performance: Issues for Design and the Digital Divide

Impact of Individual Differences on Web Searching Performance: Issues for Design and the Digital Divide

Allison J. Morgan (Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch059
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Abstract

This chapter will encourage the consideration of the role of individual differences in determining Web behavior and performance, which could inform and improve the development of search engines. Currently, users of search engines may experience differences in their level of success in searching for information. This difference could be realized through search success or search strategies. However, there is currently no definitive explanation regarding the characteristics that influence differences in search engine use and behavior. This chapter will serve asan introduction to and explore the phenomena of online Web searching and the potential role of individual differences in investigating this situation. An overview of the literature will be detailed as well as issues regarding how individual differences can be incorporated into this type of research. This chapter will support the notion that individual usage and performance with Web search engines is influenced by a collection of factors, more specifically, individual differences.

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