Characterizing the Influence of Confirmation Bias on Web Search Behavior

Masaki Suzuki, Yusuke Yamamoto
2021 Frontiers in Psychology  
In this study, we analyzed the relationship between confirmation bias, which causes people to preferentially view information that supports their opinions and beliefs, and web search behavior. In an online user study, we controlled confirmation bias by presenting prior information to participants that manipulated their impressions of health search topics and analyzed their behavioral logs during web search tasks. We found that web search users with poor health literacy and negative prior
more » ... about the health search topic did not spend time examining the list of web search results, and these users demonstrated bias in webpage selection. In contrast, web search users with high health literacy and negative prior beliefs about the search topic spent more time examining the list of web search results. In addition, these users attempted to browse webpages that present different opinions. No significant difference in web search behavior was observed between users with positive prior beliefs about the search topic and those with neutral belief.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.771948 pmid:34938242 pmcid:PMC8685219 fatcat:vv5t2cbddzhovjnusdwihe24qe