The gold miner's dilemma: Use of information scent in cooperative and competitive information foraging

Shinnosuke Nakayama, Samuel Richmond, Oded Nov, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

When searching for new information, do people focus their search on places not-yet discovered by others, or on places that others also focus on? Through a controlled experiment, we investigated heuristic rules that people adopt in social information search, a growing characteristic of how people find information in this hyperconnected world. Three people were connected online to simultaneously search for specific objects in multiple images, under either a cooperative or a competitive setting. They were provided with information about the current number of objects collected and the cumulative time spent on each image. People used such information to decide when to stop the current search and which image to explore next. Further, people paid more attention to others and distribute search efforts when cooperating, compared to when competing against others. Our findings highlight the heuristic rules that people adopt when searching in groups for new information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106352
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Volume109
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2020

Keywords

  • Collaboration
  • Competition
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Information foraging
  • Information scent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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