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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

Health consumers seek information in a daily, autonomous, technology-driven search context. Understanding this context is particularly important because the way consumers daily obtain and process online health information can predict how they will educate themselves using it and select an appropriate venue for acquiring health knowledge in the future. However, very few empirical studies examine the health consumers’ ex ante search behavior linking health consumers’ preferred online media capabilities that match with their search purposes. To fill this gap, this paper identified daily search triggers and online media capability as two major contextual factors, tested under what conditions health consumers are triggered to search or seek, and analyzed what types of online media they prefer to use for acquiring health information online. Using student data from two waves of online surveys, we tested this model of information behavior in terms of three types of search triggers (novel situation, deliberate initiative, and discrepancy), and further explored the extent to which five media capabilities (transmission velocity, parallelism, symbol sets, rehearsability, and reprocessibility) aligned with their search needs. Our preliminary results in Table 1 demonstrate that health consumers were triggered to search when a discrepancy among health information exists, while they were encouraged to post information queries for emerging health conditions or when being encouraged by others. Lastly, they preferred an online medium that was capable of accommodating simultaneous conversations (parallelism) when they posted their health question online. \

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

Health Consumers’ Information Search: Daily Search Triggers and Preferred Media Capability

Health consumers seek information in a daily, autonomous, technology-driven search context. Understanding this context is particularly important because the way consumers daily obtain and process online health information can predict how they will educate themselves using it and select an appropriate venue for acquiring health knowledge in the future. However, very few empirical studies examine the health consumers’ ex ante search behavior linking health consumers’ preferred online media capabilities that match with their search purposes. To fill this gap, this paper identified daily search triggers and online media capability as two major contextual factors, tested under what conditions health consumers are triggered to search or seek, and analyzed what types of online media they prefer to use for acquiring health information online. Using student data from two waves of online surveys, we tested this model of information behavior in terms of three types of search triggers (novel situation, deliberate initiative, and discrepancy), and further explored the extent to which five media capabilities (transmission velocity, parallelism, symbol sets, rehearsability, and reprocessibility) aligned with their search needs. Our preliminary results in Table 1 demonstrate that health consumers were triggered to search when a discrepancy among health information exists, while they were encouraged to post information queries for emerging health conditions or when being encouraged by others. Lastly, they preferred an online medium that was capable of accommodating simultaneous conversations (parallelism) when they posted their health question online. \