Three Mindsets of Search, [pdf] by About.com.
In September 2011, About.com released the results of their study on why people search for information. The survey results are aimed at advertisers (e.g., “How marketers can capitalize on an Answer Me moment”) but can also be of use to librarians.
Study revealed three distinct search types:
1.Answer Me (46% of all searches) – People in a “answer me” search want exactly what they ask for, and no more, delivered in a way that allows them to get to it as directly as possible.
2.Educate Me (26% of all searches) – People in an “educate me” search want 360 degrees of understanding, and multiple perspectives on critical topics. They will search until their goal is achieved – this may stretch over long periods of time and through related topics.
3.Inspire Me (28% of all searches) – The fun “browsy” type of search, where people are looking for surprises, have open minds and want to be led.