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Dissertation Information for Alexandra Dimitroff

- Alexandra Dimitroff

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1990)

- Gwendolyn S. Cruzat

- Carolyn O. Frost
- Joan C. Durrance
- Frizell Louis Vaughan

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Mental models and error behavior in an interactive bibliographic retrieval system

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the end-user searcher's mental model of an interactive bibliographic retrieval system and success in searching the system as reflected in error behavior. This study examined the level of mental model completeness as it related to error behavior and search success.

Interviews were conducted to determine the level of completeness of each subject's mental model of an interactive bibliographic retrieval system. Subjects were categorized in terms of complete, good, incomplete and poor mental models. Subjects searched an interactive bibliographic retrieval system for a predetermined set of items. Analysis of variance and means separation tests were used in data analysis.

Results supported the hypothesis that there is a relationship between the completeness of the end-user researcher's mental model and error behavior as well as total number of items found. Subjects with more complete mental models made significantly fewer errors and found significantly more items. However, the majority of subjects had incomplete or poor mental models, suggesting that the development of more complete mental models is an issue that must be addressed, either through training or system supplied assistance.

The most frequent types of errors made were errors consisting of the use of too broad a search strategy followed by subject searching errors. Both of these error types could be avoided by system-provided cues, cues not given by the system used in this study.

Statistically significant relationships existed between errors made and the following: computer tasks, academic field, frequency of computer use, and frequency of system use. Search success was found to be significantly related to computer hardware, computer tasks, database design experience, academic field, frequency of computer use, and frequency of system use. Subjects who had learned to use personal computers without formal training found significantly more items than those who had taken a formal course.

Conclusions and implications for interactive bibliographic retrieval system design and training are discussed. Recommendations for future research are proposed.

MPACT Scores for Alexandra Dimitroff

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:29:37

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Students under Alexandra Dimitroff

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