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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/468

Title: Performance in a planning task: The (ir)relevance of interface style and users’ cognitive style
Authors: Van Nimwegen, Christof
Burgos, Daniel
Keywords: Human factors
Need for Cognition
Interface
Planning
Problem solving
Externalization
Issue Date: 13-Oct-2005
Publisher: Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction
Citation: Nimwegen, C., Burgos, D. (2005) Performance in a planning task: The (ir)relevance of interface style and users’ cognitive style. Accepted for the “Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction” SIGCHI.NL conference. The Hague, The Netherlands. October 13th, 2005 [www.sigchi.n]
Abstract: This research investigates whether interface style (internalization or externalization) influences performance in a problem solving task. Assistance from a user interface during problem solving is often thought to make interactions easier. Interfaces often display relevant information, making recall unnecessary and relieving working memory, called externalization (e.g. feedback aids such as “graying out” menu-items). By externalizing information, display-based behavior is provoked, which however does not necessarily instigate planning, understanding and knowledge acquisition. When certain task-information is less directly available, it needs to be internalized, stored in memory, provoking plan-based behavior, which may lead to better performance and knowledge. To provoke these behaviors, we manipulated the interface of a conference planning application. We also included the users’ cognitive style, in this case “need for cognition” (NFC), the tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive tasks. High-NFC subjects generally plan more, leading to better performance. Results show that interface style indeed influences problem-solving behavior, but NFC does not. Internalization resulted in more planful behavior, better solution routes and less reconsidered actions. If plan-based behavior is preferred, designers should be careful in giving users too much assistance.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1820/468
Appears in Collections:1. LN: Publications and Preprints

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