transfer 16(1) » Rezeptions- und Wirkungsforschung

How Do Young People Search the Internet?

A Systematic Review

Despite the growing popularity of Social Networking Sites, searching the Web for information still remains one of the most common online activities. The goal of the paper is to examine the current state of research on young peoples‘ online searching behavior. The central findings of research on this topic in the last eleven years are systematically presented following Wirth & Schweiger’s (1999) model for describing a decision-making situation on the Internet. This review examines thus the young peoples‘ online searching behavior by focusing on the aspects which may influence it. After a short introductory chapter which deals with the theoretical description of Web searching, the empirical work on this subject matter is examined: firstly the studies, which describe students‘ Web search behavior per se are analyzed. The further chapters complement these findings by examining the studies which focus on the aspects affecting the Web search: firstly the characteristics of the online searcher, then the decision-making’s larger context and the situation, in which each online decision takes place, and afterwards the Web content. The concluding remarks discuss the implications of these studies for future research and the new challenges brought by the emergence of Web 2.0.