The impact of personality traits on users’ information-seeking behavior

Hosam Al-Samarraie, Atef Eldenfria, Husameddin Dawoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Although personality traits may influence information-seeking behavior, little is known about this topic. This study explored the impact of the Big Five personality traits on human online information seeking. For this purpose, it examined changes in eye-movement behavior in a sample of 75 participants (36 male and 39 female; age: 22–39 years; experience conducting online searches: 5–12 years) across three types of information-seeking tasks – factual, exploratory, and interpretive. The International Personality Item Pool Representation of the NEO PI-R™ (IPIP-NEO) was used to assess the participants’ personality profile. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to categorize participants based on their personality traits. A three cluster solution was found (cluster one consists of participants who scored high in conscientiousness; cluster two consists of participants who scored high in agreeableness; and cluster three consists of participants who scored high in extraversion). Results revealed that individuals high in conscientiousness performed fastest in most information-seeking tasks, followed by those high in agreeableness and extraversion. This study has important practical implications for intelligent human – computer interfaces, personalization, and related applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-247
Number of pages11
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number1
Early online date9 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Information behavior
  • Online information seeking
  • Personality traits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences


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