Stopping rule use during web-based search

Glenn J. Browne, Mitzi G. Pitts, James C. Wetherbe

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The world wide web has become a ubiquitous tool for information search. The focal point of web navigation has changed over the past few years from destination sites to search engines, and search activity thus determines where most people spend most of their time online. However, little is known about how and why people stop their search efforts. Such an understanding holds much promise for both website design and marketing efforts. Building on an established theoretical and empirical foundation, we investigate the heuristics, or stopping rules, that people use to end search behavior. In the present study, subjects engaged in an online shopping task and then completed a questionnaire concerning why they stopped their searches. Results showed that some stopping rules were used more than others, and the proportions differed from those used in some prior contexts. Implications for information search theory and website design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
StatePublished - 2005
Event38th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - Big Island, HI, United States
Duration: Jan 3 2005Jan 6 2005


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