University of Twente Student Theses


Google and its ability to manipulate users’ decision making from a gender perspective.

Haren, Jeanna van (2018) Google and its ability to manipulate users’ decision making from a gender perspective.

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Abstract:There is a substantial amount of research on the difference in the use of the Internet between men and women, as well as their online behaviour, however there is knowledge lacking on what the role of the medium is in this story. Therefore, this paper provides a deeper understanding of the extent to which personalised search engines, like Google, influence a users’ search results and how this has an impact on users’ decision making. Furthermore, DuckDuckGo, which does not personalise search results has also been included in this study. This study takes a gender perspective, looking at two topics – jobs and political participation – that still experience a rather conservative division between men and women. An online survey has been conducted, using t-tests to analyse the results. This research contributes to the literature by providing in depth knowledge of one specific part of a person’s electronic profile. The findings suggest that personalised search engines do provide one-sided views on a topic, making them able to manipulate users’ decision making. However, gender is only a small part of the equation. Furthermore, even though DuckDuckGo says not to gather personal information the observations done in this study raise questions regarding this statement.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:70 social sciences in general, 85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
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