• The Role of Subjective Factors in the Information Search Process

      Gwizdka, Jacek; Lopatovska, Irene (Wiley, 2009)
      We investigated the role of subjective factors in the information search process. Forty eight participants each conducted six web searches in a controlled setting. We examined relationships between subjective factors (happiness levels, satisfaction with and confidence in the search results, feeling lost during search, familiarity with and interest in the search topic, estimation of task difficulty), and objective factors (search behavior, search outcomes and search task characteristics). Data analysis was conducted using a multivariate statistical test (Canonical Correlations Analysis). The findings confirmed existence of several relationships suggested by prior research, including relationships between objective search task difficulty and the perception of task difficulty; between subjective states and search behaviors and outcomes. One of the original findings suggests that higher happiness levels before the search and during the search correlate with better feelings after the search, but also correlates with worse search outcomes and lower satisfaction, suggesting that, perhaps, it pays off to feel some â painâ during the search in order to â gainâ quality outcomes.