Article: Millennial Students’ Mental Models of Search: Implications for Academic Librarians and Database Developers
Lucy Holman, Millennial Students’ Mental Models of Search: Implications for Academic Librarians and Database Developers, The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Volume 37, Issue 1, 2011, Pages 19-27, ISSN 0099-1333, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2010.10.003. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0099133310002545)
The discussion of mental models is particularly interesting here, as well as citations that lead to other interesting articles, such as this note on the transferability (or lack of) mental models:
Although some research indicates that users may adapt models as they explore new tools, others find that work in similar systems actually may complicate learning and confuse users. For example, Scharlotte Saxon discovered that middle-school students mistakenly assume that different systems work more similarly than they actually do; students experienced problems in transferring their models from one system to another.
Reference 24 refers to Saxon, S.A. Seventh-grade students and electronic information retrieval systems: An exploratory study of mental model formation, completeness and change. Ph.D. thesis, The Florida State University. Accessed from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/119200/ on 2019-04-21. One concern - as interesting as this thesis is, is the study of technology from 1997 relevant now, or has technology changed enough these lessons no longer apply? Frustratingly, only the abstract seems to be available and I can’t see the author’s current contact details online to request a copy of the manuscript directly. Sigh.
Apart from this the methods and results generally aren’t likely to apply to my research; it focuses too much on search methodology which I am not concerned with.