Loughborough University
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The effect of information cues in a hypertext system on fiction reading activity of public library readers

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posted on 2010-11-23, 12:10 authored by Liangzhi Yu
The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of information cues, presented via a hypertext system, on the fiction reading activity of public library readers and the practical implications of the effect. A three-group post-test experimental design was applied for this purpose. The groups were formed from readers in two public libraries near the university by random assignment. The experimental treatments were three versions of a fiction searching and browsing system, differing in the complexity of information cues and the hypertext features. Data for the experiment were gathered by an observation schedule and a self-administered questionnaire and were analyzed with the Kruskal-Wallis one way analysis of variance and the Mann-Whitney test in SPSSA. The three groups showed significant difference in the amount of their book selection mid borrowing, the extent to which they made use of the searching system and the extent to which they relied on their own experience for book selection. They also differed significantly in the types of book they borrowed. They did not differ significantly, however, in their fiction searching pattern, the conformity of their book selection to their general reading tastes, their subjective feelings of well-being and their cognitive experience during reading. It was concluded that within the typology of information cues proposed in this research, the amount of readers' book selection and borrowing, the types of book they borrowed, their reliance on the system or their own experience for the decision making are significantly influenced by the level of information cues they have been exposed to. However, readers' searching patterns, conformity of book selection to their general taste, and emotional and cognitive experience do not relate significantly to the level of information cues they have been exposed to. It was suggested that detailed categorisation or classification of fiction should be a priority in processing fiction. 'The provision of adequate information cues should have more professional attention in promoting fiction reading, and the policy of fiction services should not be too high-brow.



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© Liangzhi Yu

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en

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