User motivation and expectation for asking a question in online q&a services

Erik Choi
Online Q&A services are online information sources where people identify their information need, formulate the need in natural language, and interact with one another to receive answers to satisfy their needs. Even though in recent years online Q&A has grown considerably in popularity and impacted people's information-seeking behaviors, we still have little understanding of what motivates people to ask a question and what they expect from others with respect to their answers to judge
more » ... quality in the online Q&A environments. The purpose of the dissertation is to understand the motivations and expectations behind questions asking of unknown people in online Q&A services. Therefore, Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers were selected as the test beds in the study because these online Q&A services allow people to interact with most likely unknown people via the question-answering processes, yet provide different features of how answers are given to a question. Three research questions are addressed: (1) motivation: what motivates people to ask a question that address their needs in Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers?; (2) Expectation: what are an asker's expectations from other users to fulfill his or her needs when asking questions in Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers?; (3) relationship: how do motivations of asking a question relate to expectations of answer content in Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers?; and (4) comparison: To what extent are motivations, expectations, and the relationship between motivations and expectations different and/or similar between Yahoo! Answers and WikiAnswers? Cognitive needs such as finding factual information or seeking others' opinion or advice were found as the most significant motivational factor that drives people to ask a question. Yet, it was found that other motivational factors (e.g., tension free needs) also played an important role in user motivations for asking a question, depending on peoples' unique and contextual situations. It was found that when asking [...]
doi:10.7282/t3db809b fatcat:xaldtrkbxvgzpgk7jmph7ctfd4