Wednesday, 11 Jul, 2007 Science

The Less Online Content - The Better, Study Says


The latest research conducted by University of Missouri-Columbia showed that people are more likely to focus on the online content with fewer options.

The participants took part in the experiment where their responses were studied while they were watching online pictures. Kevin Wise and Kimberlee Pepple, conducted the study where volunteers were given a task to choose three pictures from six and 24 selection of thumbnails. Researchers then studied participants' heart rates to define orienting response while they were looking at the pictures.

Scientists noticed that when a person was interested, his or her heart rate slowed down. This reaction was seen in respondents who had to select the picture from six thumbnails but none was noticed for those who had to choose from 24 pictures.

Besides, when the participants were asked to remember the pictures, almost all the pictures from six options were later recognized with 99 percent accuracy if compared with 89 percent accuracy for 24 options. Pictures from a smaller array were also recognized much faster.

The experts explain this by the fact that when we process visual information we use our mental resources to remember the picture and when a person spends too many efforts on getting the picture, he or she is unlikely to remember the picture. The brain gets overloaded if there is too much information for processing.

The findings are useful for those who deal with online content, including news portals, online advertising companies and search engines.

The research will be available in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

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