This paper investigates the effects of personality characteristics on individuals' abilities to compose queries from information requests containing various types of ambiguity. In particular, this research examines the effects of user personality characteristics on query performance in the presence of information requests that contained no extraneous, syntactic, or both extraneous and syntactic ambiguities. The results indicate that personality characteristics significantly affect users' abilities to compose accurate queries. Neuroticism, agreeableness, openness to experience, and conscientiousness significantly affected the number of errors made in the query formulations. Conscientiousness affected the length of time taken to compose the queries and neuroticism affected the confidence users had in the accuracy of their queries. Although several personality dimensions affected query performance, no significant interactions between personality dimensions and ambiguity were detected. Furthermore, both query complexity and information request ambiguity exhibited greater impacts on query performance than personality characteristics. Hence, organizations should attempt to train users to deal with query complexity and information request ambiguity before modifying their training programs for personality characteristics.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.