Humans often use mental representations to function in everyday life; calculating sums in the head, giving or following directions, for instance. Our mental representations are a powerful tool for understanding abstract ideas that cannot be easily expressed. This is especially important when people use the Internet, for it is a space that is hard to comprehend. Whilst searching for information, users often do not know where they are in the information space and do not remember how to get there. Users create a representation in the 'mind's eye' which helps them navigate the world of online information. However, the type of representation adopted will drastically affect the success with which users are able to understand and use the Internet.

Researchers have a key role to play in identifying how users mentally visualise the Internet. If we can understand how these create an image in the mind of the viewer we are well placed to design a more effective Internet. These representations of the Internet are powerful in framing our conception of the new virtual worlds beyond our computer screens. By investigating Internet representations, my research will help users, service providers and analysts comprehend the various spaces of online information, providing understanding and aiding navigation. This research will have a significant educational value by making complex spaces comprehensible.

Please Note: The study is now complete and data collection has ended.
However, you can still view the Q sort grids by clicking here
















University of Bath | Department of Psychology
Department of Psychology, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY
E-mail: AmyLHogan@gmail.com
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