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Keen.com and Lewis, Mobilio & Associates recently embarked on a study to uncover American behavior around finding answers to questions. How many questions do people have each day? How do they find the answers to their questions? Can they find answers in a satisfactory way? How much time is being wasted in America fruitlessly searching for answers?

The study tracked 74 people, 24 hours a day, for four days in Boston, Des Moines and San Diego - resulting in a total of 7104 hours of data collection. Participants represented a broad range of social, economic and employment backgrounds.

Each was given a tape recorder and detailed instructions to document their questions requiring an answer from an outside source, to rate the importance of each question, how much they would pay for an answer and where they would most likely find an answer.

Top Findings Include:

bullets for press study People ask an average of 4 questions per day that would require them to get answers from an outside source. This projects to more than 85,000 questions during their adult lifetimes.
bullets for press study People will spend an average of 8.75 hours per week searching for answers to their questions which equals more than 450 hours per year and more than 2.5 years in an adult lifetime. *
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The majority of study participants prefer to get their answers from another person. 29 percent of survey participants sought answers from friends/family/neighbors. 24.3 percent sought answers from salespeople and service providers. In total, 53.3 percent of people seek answers from other people. piechart for press study
bullets for press study Respondents said they are willing to pay $14.50 per week—up to $754.00 per year—to get the right answers to questions.
bullets for press study Participants said they would pay $10 for answers to questions they deemed "important" and about $2 for less important answers. In some cases, study participants indicated willingness to pay $100 or more for answers to critical health questions.
bullets for press study Men and women ask a similar number of questions that require answers from outside sources and are equally willing to pay for those answers. Age did not play a role in participants' willingness to seek and pay for answers.
textblock for press study   Americans have not yet found an ideal information resource. Not one study participant said they would use the same resource time and again when seeking answers.
bullets for press study More than 31 percent of all respondents use Internet search engines to find answers to their questions. However, people who use Internet search engines express frustration because they estimate that half of their searches are unsuccessful.

* According to the National Vital Statistics Report, adult lifespan starts at the age 18 and ends at 76.5 for a total of 58.5 years.