Loading… Loading… The Influence of Download Time on Information Search
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When browsing online, there is considerable variation in the amount of time that one has to wait for content to appear once the link to that content has been activated (i.e., clicked). In two experiments we examined how ‘download time’ – a barrier to information accessibility – influences search behaviour, and the role that individual differences play in the foregoing relation. In both experiments, participants completed a video-watching task in which they were presented with a screen containing six clickable icons, each of which represented a unique video. When participants clicked an icon, a video would begin to load and then play. Their task was to gain as much information from the videos as possible for a later memory test. Critically, however, the ‘download time’ of the available videos (i.e., the time between the click on the icon and the video beginning to play) varied. In Experiment 1, these load times were 0 (instant), 2, or 30 seconds, and in Experiment 2, they were 5, 15, and 30 seconds. In general, we found that participants terminated and avoided videos with longer download times than videos with shorter download times. Interestingly, this effect was attenuated when the experienced download times were more similar to each other (Experiment 2) than when they were more different from each other (Experiment 1).
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Alyssa Smith (2019). Loading… Loading… The Influence of Download Time on Information Search. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/14916