The Impact of Non-Verbalization in Think-Aloud: Understanding Knowledge Gain Indicators Considering Think-Aloud Web Searches

junho 29, 2022 § Deixe um comentário

Marcelo Tibau, Sean Wolfgand Matsui Siqueira, and Bernardo Pereira Nunes. 2022. The Impact of Non-Verbalization in Think-Aloud: Understanding Knowledge Gain Indicators Considering Think-Aloud Web Searches. In Proceedings of the 33rd ACM Conference on Hypertext and Social Media (HT ’22). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 107–120. https://doi.org/10.1145/3511095.3531272

Abstract: Web searching and knowledge gain are intertwined processes that share mental and physical activities at the core of both human cognition and hypertext theory, such as identifying, comparing, linking, and combining different subsets of existing or new information. As a consequence of the improvement of our ability to retrieve information across multiple sources provided by Web search engines, the necessity to understand how a user’s knowledge evolves through a Web search session increased. Previous works focused on understanding the knowledge gained in Web searches by using think-aloud protocols. From the user’s verbalization of her searching procedures, it is possible to identify her cognitive processing. Notwithstanding, we argue that user’s searching and browsing behaviors should be analyzed not only through the verbalization periods, as usually accepted by think-aloud studies, since not all cognitive decisions are made consciously, some are unconscious or subconscious. Hence, it is possible to identify more knowledge gained than it would be attainable focusing solely on what was verbalized. In this sense, we evaluated the statistical significance level derived from the relationship between verbal and non-verbal search periods mapped from online information searching strategy indicators. Then, we identified a positive association regarding non-verbalization and some indicators related to knowledge gain concepts and discovered that the values of non-verbal periods tend to increase as the values of particular indicators related to knowledge gain also increase. The knowledge gain concepts were identified using constructs representing cognitive absorption, comprehension, elaboration, and memory. Concerning the impact of Think-Aloud on knowledge gain processes, we found out that verbalization does affect how participants handle their search tasks. However, our result also showed a predominance of non-verbal periods during metacognitive-based searching activities, which may indicate that Think-Aloud protocols should not only rely on verbalization for indication of knowledge gain. Although verbalization may not disrupt the thought process, it might cut in on the cognitive process as the participant tries to explain her action while performing it. A search engine could use the identified indicators to account for the knowledge gained during search sessions, which would make it more adapted to identify user information needs and promote personalized information-adding.

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