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The effects of cognitive load on query reformulation: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration

The effects of cognitive load on query reformulation: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration This study explores the effects of cognitive load on the propensity to reformulate queries during information seeking on the web.Design/methodology/approachThis study employs an experimental design to analyze the effect of manipulations of cognitive load on the propensity for query reformulation between experimental and control groups. In total, three affective components that contribute to cognitive load were manipulated: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration.FindingsA significant difference in the propensity of query reformulation behavior was found between searchers exposed to cognitive load manipulations and searchers who were not exposed. Those exposed to cognitive load manipulations made half as many search query reformulations as searchers not exposed. Furthermore, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) cognitive load scores of searchers who were exposed to the three cognitive load manipulations were higher than those of searchers who were not exposed indicating that the manipulation was effective. Query reformulation behavior did not differ across task types.Originality/valueThe findings suggest that a dual-task method and NASA-TLX assessment serve as good indicators of cognitive load. Because the findings show that cognitive load hinders a searcher's interaction with information search tools, this study provides empirical support for reducing cognitive load when designing information systems or user interfaces. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Aslib Journal of Information Management Emerald Publishing

The effects of cognitive load on query reformulation: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration

Aslib Journal of Information Management , Volume 73 (3): 18 – Jun 11, 2021

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2050-3806
DOI
10.1108/ajim-07-2020-0206
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study explores the effects of cognitive load on the propensity to reformulate queries during information seeking on the web.Design/methodology/approachThis study employs an experimental design to analyze the effect of manipulations of cognitive load on the propensity for query reformulation between experimental and control groups. In total, three affective components that contribute to cognitive load were manipulated: mental demand, temporal demand and frustration.FindingsA significant difference in the propensity of query reformulation behavior was found between searchers exposed to cognitive load manipulations and searchers who were not exposed. Those exposed to cognitive load manipulations made half as many search query reformulations as searchers not exposed. Furthermore, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) cognitive load scores of searchers who were exposed to the three cognitive load manipulations were higher than those of searchers who were not exposed indicating that the manipulation was effective. Query reformulation behavior did not differ across task types.Originality/valueThe findings suggest that a dual-task method and NASA-TLX assessment serve as good indicators of cognitive load. Because the findings show that cognitive load hinders a searcher's interaction with information search tools, this study provides empirical support for reducing cognitive load when designing information systems or user interfaces.

Journal

Aslib Journal of Information ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 11, 2021

Keywords: Cognitive load; Query reformulation; Mental demand; Temporal demand; Frustration; NASA-TLX

References