To what extent, if any, do behaviors observable via smart-phones relate to information behaviors?

To what extent, if any, do behaviors observable via wearable devices relate to information behaviors?

To what extent, if any, are personal signals and social signals different in terms of studying behaviors?

Emerging trends in smart-phones and wearable devices allow for creation of a rich user behavioral profile for users as they engage in search tasks. Such a behavioral (social, mobile, affective, and cognitive) profile goes beyond traditional browser-based context and allows one's personality type and social capital to become pivotal predictors of search behavior and performance. We aim to use the following sensor to build the behavioral profiles.


Through the data and sensors available on mobile phones, we can observe individual's behavior as follows:

Social Interaction: Number of phone calls and/or SMS, Number of contacts for calls/SMS, etc.

Geolocational Movement: Number of cell towers that the phone has been connected with during a particular time period.

Wearable Devices

Wearable devices are more focusing on health-related signal from the users.

Physical Activities: Number of steps, Time of working out, Time of sleep, etc.

In order to understand individuals' unique characteristics, we asked three kinds of survey to participants in the middle of field session, which are Miller Behavioral Style Scale, Williams Social Capital profiles, and Big Five Factors.

Miller Behavioral Style Scale

The Miller Behavioral Style Scale is a 32-item questionnaires that aims to identify the information seeking behavior (ISB) of individuals under threat. The scale is consisted of two major factors, or scores, which are Monitoring (M) and Blunting (B). It is theorized that monitors prefer a higher volume of information input before meeting a stressful event and suffer less psycho-physiological arousal when they have information, while blunters prefer less information and suffer more arousal when they have a high information input.

Big Five Factors

Throughout several decades, researchers had tried to define a generally understood and applicable taxonomy and factors in personality traits. As one of the models, five-factor structure has been investigated by a number of researchers, and eventually became known as the Big Five. The Big Five structure dose not imply that personalities can be reduced to only five traits, rather, these five traits represent the broadest level of abstraction, an each dimension summarizes a large number of distinct, more specific personality characteristics. The final revised facets for each dimension is NEO PI-R (Personality Inventory, Revised). We asked participants to fill out the questionnaires, through which we observed the five personality traits of them.

Williams Social Capital profiles

We used Williams Social Capital Scales in order to see to what extent which social capital a particular participant has. More specifically, considering the changed social interactions and social relationships among people due to the emerging online connections and services, we used Williams Internet Social Capital Scales (ISCS). It adopts a theoretical model for the different kinds of social capital, "bridging" and "bonding" suggested by Putnam. These two types of social capital are realted but not equivalent.

The concept of bridging social capital is inclusive. It happens when individuals from different backgrounds make connections between social networks in which those individuals have involved. Through bridging, people can broaden their world views and open up opportunities for new information or new resources, while it had little things do to with emotional support. By contrast, bonding is an exclusive type of social capital. It occurs when strongly tied individuals (e.g., family or very close friends) provide emotional or substantial support to each other. The individuals with bonding social capital might have little diversity in their social networks and/or backgrounds, while they have stronger personal connections within their bondings. People who have bonding social capital are provided strong emotional and substantive support and encouraged mobilizations. However, this characteristic might lead to insularity and out-group antagonism.

In order to observe and evaluate individual's information search behavior, we consider diverse aspects of information search behavior.

Information Exposure

The concept of "Information Exposure" refers to the amount of information a searcher discovers during an exploratory search task.

Coverage: Number of visited Web documents

Unique Coverage: Number of Web documents exclusively visited by the individual

Information Relevancy

This category refers to the "goodness" of information discovered in regards to the relevancy of the task topic. We see the relevancy when an individual uses the retrieved information for their purpose of search.

Relevant Coverage: Number of Web documents visited and used by the individual

Unique Relevant Coverage: Number of Web documents exclusively used by the individual

Information Seeking

This category refers to the way users seek and retrieve information - an individual submits a number of queries in order to gather meaningful and relevant information for his or her information needs.

Distinct Queries: Number of distinct queries issued by an individual