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An analysis of age, technology usage, and cognitive characteristics within information retrieval tasks.

Crabb, Michael; Hanson, Vicki L.


Michael Crabb

Vicki L. Hanson


This work presents two studies that aim to discover whether age can be used as a suitable metric for distinguishing performance between individuals or if other factors can provide greater insight. Information retrieval tasks are used to test the performance of these factors. First, a study is introduced that examines the effect that fluid intelligence and Internet usage has on individuals. Second, a larger study is reported on that examines a collection of Internet and cognitive factors in order to determine to what extent each of these metrics can account for disorientation in users. This work adds to growing evidence showing that age is not a suitable metric to distinguish between individuals within the field of human-computer interaction. It shows that factors such as previous Internet experience and fluid-based cognitive abilities can be used to gain better insight into users' reported browsing experience during information retrieval tasks.

Journal Article Type Conference Paper
Start Date Oct 20, 2014
Publication Date May 2, 2016
Journal ACM transactions on accessible computing (TACCESS)
Print ISSN 1936-7228
Electronic ISSN 1936-7236
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 8
Issue 3
Article Number 10
Institution Citation CRABB, M. and HANSON, V.L. 2016. An analysis of age, technology usage, and cognitive characteristics within information retrieval tasks. ACM transactions on accessible computing (TACCESS) [online], 8(3): papers from the proceedings of the 16th International Association of Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Accessibility (ACM SIGACCESS) conference on computers and accessibility (ASSETS 2014), 20-22 October 2014, Rochester, USA, article number 10. Available from:
Keywords Measurement; Human factors; Older adults; Cognitive ability; Human computer interaction (HCI); Web search; Search strategies


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