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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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7. Conclusion


This study was motivated by the identification of a significant research gap con­ cerning the relationship between users of modern information technology and the entity information, a phenomenon which was termed “human computer-based in­ formation behavior”. At the same time, it was found that during the last decades, several technological advances resulted in a situation in which information is ubiq­ uitously available in an almost unlimited amount. Furthermore, it appeared that content provided via modern media such as the Internet is increasingly and visibly produced by other private users. The aforementioned observations guided the formulation of two research ques­ tions addressing a critical phase in any information acquisition process, namely the question why people stop seeking for information in computer-mediated set­ tings and which factors influence this decision. It was shown that information seeking is a crucial step in many organizational decision making and sense mak­ ing processes and that terminating seeking activities too early or too late has detrimental effects on the information seeker’s overall task performance. An analysis of extant literature on information seeking stopping behavior re­ vealed that most publications deal with strategies for terminating information acquisition activities in choice tasks. Only a few studies decidedly addressed stopping behavior in which the sufficiency of information was of primary con­ cern. Additionally, there was no research coherently integrating rational, system­ atic seeking and stopping behavior on the one hand and spontaneous, impulsive seeking and stopping behavior on the other hand. Hence, a comprehensive research model was developed explaining...

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