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Information Seeking Stopping Behavior in Online Scenarios

The Impact of Task, Technology and Individual Characteristics


Erik Hemmer

The growing amount of information provided via web-based information technologies forces the users of these technologies to stop seeking for information before having acquired all available information. This stopping decision is either made actively following clear guidelines or subconsciously based on the seeker’s intuition. This book analyzes the aforementioned duality by developing and testing a multi-theoretical research model dealing with information seeking stopping behavior in online scenarios. Thus, by delivering insights into the mechanisms that influence information seeking activities, this study does not only advance theory building in the Information Systems discipline and adjacent fields but is also highly relevant for practitioners and developers of information technology.


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5. Empirical Validation


In Chapter 3, the research methodology for validating the study’s research model on information seeking and stopping behavior was introduced. Subsequently, the laboratory environment software for collecting the required questionnaire data was pre-tested and refined in Chapter 4. This chapter elaborates on the validation of the research model itself in a laboratory experiment with 132 participants. 5.1. E xperim ental D esign and E xperim ental Procedure The experimental design used in the main study is similar to that developed in Chapter 4. A major change was made with regard to the number of tasks each participant has to solve: While subjects had to deal with six information seeking tasks in the pre-test, participants of the main study’s experiment only receive two different tasks in order to reduce potential fatigue effects. Furthermore, a training task is included in the experimental work flow, so that subjects can familiarize with the software environment before the actual data collection process starts. The resulting experimental design is summarized in Figure 5.1. The order of the two tasks presented to every subject during the experiment was pseudo-randomized resulting in eight different experimental conditions that reflect all possible combinations of the two variables that were manipulated in the laboratory experiment environment plus the varying degrees of task complexity that were measured via an appropriate set of indicators during the experiment. An overview of these conditions and the properties of the corresponding tasks is presented in Table 5.1. A detailed list of experiment and task descriptions as...

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