Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Taylor (Jing) Wen


This dissertation explores the world of search from the human perspective. While search engine research, both corporate and academic, has seen a growth in relevance in recent years, the relative novelty of the area in the advertising world means that many important questions remain unanswered. This work aims to expand the current state of search engine research by examining the combined impact of mood, construal level theory applications, and product type on search behavior. Additionally, this research seeks to examine psychophysiological responses from these interreacting frameworks using webcam eye-tracking technology, which was developed recently and has not been previously used in this type of work. From a quantitative aspect, the findings of this work show that the combination of the three frameworks had unique and specific impacts on processing fluency and user preferences in a non-branded search engine environment. When examining two-way effects, results show that fluency and user preference can be more broadly influenced. Finally, when examining the main effects, this research has findings that run counter to previous literature with implications and reasons that explain why are discussed. From a methodological standpoint, this paper shows that while there is great potential for online eye-tracking studies, there are hurdles that still must be overcome.


© 2023, Jackson Everitt Carter

Available for download on Saturday, August 31, 2024