Navigation, a matter of style? : study on the relation between users¿ cognitive styles, mental models and navigation behaviors in a hypermedia environment

Craaikamp, E.A. van (2005) Navigation, a matter of style? : study on the relation between users¿ cognitive styles, mental models and navigation behaviors in a hypermedia environment.

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Abstract:This study aimed at gaining more insights into users' navigation behavior in hypermedia environments. The relation between cognitive style and navigation behavior in a hypermedia environment was examined, as well as the relation between cognitive style and mental model of the information in a hypermedia environment. One hundred fifteen students were tested on the cognitive style characteristic 'field dependency.' The sample mainly contained field independent (or 'analytic') individuals. From the initial sample, the 20 students with the highest analytic scores and the 20 students with the lowest analytic scores were selected. Five 'low analytics' and five 'high analytics' were asked to do several tasks on a web site with information about writing, while thinking aloud. Further, 15 'high analytics' and 15 'low analytics' were asked to create a mental model of the same web site, by means of the card sorting method. The results indicated that users' cognitive styles did appear to be related to users' navigation behaviors. This is quite remarkable, because of the small number of participants, and the relatively small difference between the two cognitive styles, one would expect that significant differences were not likely to occur. However, cognitive styles did not appear to be related to mental models. Therefore, mental models do not appear to be an intervening variable between cognitive styles and navigation behavior in a hypermedia environment
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies BSc (56615)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/57795
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