Are people biased in their use of search engines?

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dc.contributor.author Keane, Mark T.
dc.contributor.author O'Brien, Maeve
dc.contributor.author Smyth, Barry
dc.date.accessioned 2009-11-23T17:12:56Z
dc.date.available 2009-11-23T17:12:56Z
dc.date.copyright 2008 ACM en
dc.date.issued 2008-02
dc.identifier.citation Communications of the ACM en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1643
dc.description.abstract Search-engines are among the most used resources on the Internet. Google, for example, now hosts over eight billion items and returns answers to queries in a fraction of a second, thus realising some of the more far-fetched predictions envisioned by the pioneers of the World Web Web. In the present study, we assess whether people are biased in their use of a search-engine; specifically, whether they are biased in clicking on those items that are presented as being the most relevant in the search engine’s result list (i.e., those items listed at the top of the result list). To test this bias hypothesis, we simulated the Google environment systematically reversing Google’s normal relevance-ordering of the items presented to users. Our results show that people do manifest some bias, favoring items at the top of result lists, though they also sometimes seek out high-relevance items listed further down a list. Later, we discuss whether this bias arises from people’s implicit trust in a search engine, like Google, or some other effect. en
dc.description.sponsorship Science Foundation Ireland en
dc.format.extent 40960 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/msword
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ACM en
dc.subject.lcsh Searching behavior en
dc.subject.lcsh Information behavior en
dc.subject.lcsh Internet searching en
dc.subject.lcsh Web search engines en
dc.title Are people biased in their use of search engines? en
dc.type Journal Article en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.internal.webversions Publisher's version en
dc.internal.webversions http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1314215.1314224 en
dc.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.volume 51 en
dc.identifier.issue 2 en
dc.identifier.startpage 49 en
dc.identifier.endpage 52 en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1145/1314215.1314224
dc.neeo.contributor Keane|Mark T.|aut| en
dc.neeo.contributor O'Brien|Maeve|aut| en
dc.neeo.contributor Smyth|Barry|aut| en


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