Mental Models in Information Seeking Behavior Research: A Review

Document Type : Research Paper


Asst, prof, KIS, University of Shiraz


Objective: This study tends to indicate main factors affect user's mental models in Information seeking behavior.

Methodology: Searching related keywords in International Databases and search engines, 27 articles in information seeking area were selected. These articles were evaluated and analyses deeply to answer the main questions developed

Findings: The result demonstrated that various factors affect user's mental model construction. These factors can divide into two groups; Individual differences and environmental factors. In addition, mental models can effect on novice users in information seeking process in complex situations. Furthermore, Analyzing articles showed that Interviewing, Observing, Drawing, Thinking aloud and RGT are the most common techniques for distinguishing user's mental models.

Value/Originality: The results of this research can help us to know more about cognitive factors effect on information seeking behavior and apply them in information retrieval systems.