Searching for information on the web: Impact of cognitive aging, prior domain knowledge and complexity of the search problems

M. Sanchiz, J. Chin, A. Chevalier, Wai-Tat Fu, F. Amadieu, J. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study focuses on the impact of age, prior domain knowledge and cognitive abilities on performance, query production and navigation strategies during information searching. Twenty older adults and nineteen young adults had to answer 12 information search problems of varying nature within two domain knowledge: health and manga. In each domain, participants had to perform two simple fact-finding problems (keywords provided and answer directly accessible on the search engine results page), two difficult fact-finding problems (keywords had to be inferred) and two open-ended information search problems (multiple answers possible and navigation necessary). Results showed that prior domain knowledge helped older adults improve navigation (i.e. reduced the number of webpages visited and thus decreased the feeling of disorientation), query production and reformulation (i.e. they formulated semantically more specific queries, and they inferred a greater number of new keywords).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-294
Number of pages14
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Information searching
  • Navigation
  • Prior domain knowledge
  • Problem complexity
  • Reformulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences

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