Information Seeking Theories And Models
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  • 1. LIS 60001 – Access to Information Information Seeking Models & Theories
  • 2. This Week’s Readings
  • 3. INFORMATION SEEKING
    • “… a conscious effort to acquire information in response to a need or gap in your knowledge.”
    • Case, Looking for Information
    • (2007), 5.
  • 4.  
  • 5. Information Behavior (IB)
  • 6. INFORMATION BEHAVIOR (IB)
    • “… encompasses information seeking as well as the totality of other unintentional or passive behaviors (such as glimpsing or encountering information), as well as purposive behaviors that do not involve seeking, such as avoiding information.”
    • Case, Looking for Information
    • (2007), 5
  • 7. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
    • REDUCING UNCERTAINTY
    • Problem Solving
      • Identifying issues
      • Setting goals
      • Designing suitable courses of action
    • Decision Making
      • Evaluating
      • Choosing among alternatives
  • 8. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
    • Browsing
      • Informal, unplanned
      • Aimless vs. goal-related
      • Scanning
      • Serendipity
  • 9.  
  • 10.  
  • 11.  
  • 12. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
    • Relevance
      • Requires context
      • ‘ Aboutness’ (i.e., on the topic) vs. non-topicality
      • Pertinent – connected to a need
    • Salience
      • Unexpected, notable, prominent
      • Selective exposure
  • 13. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
    • Avoiding information
        • Selective exposure (filtering)
        • Rejection of ideas
        • Reluctance to be distracted
        • Unused information
  • 14. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
    • Information poverty
      • Knowledge gaps
      • Barriers to knowledge
        • Cultural patterns
        • Lack of processing skills (e.g., reading, language, hearing, sight)
  • 15. IB RELATED CONCEPTS
      • Omission
      • Error
      • Queuing
      • Filtering
      • Approximation
      • Multiple Channels
      • Escaping
      • “ We can seek knowledge in order to reduce anxiety and we can avoid knowing in order to reduce anxiety.”
      • Maslow
    • Information overload and anxiety
  • 16. EXERCISE: Common Information Behaviors
  • 17. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • Buying a product
    • Visiting a library
    • Locating a law
    • Betting on a race horse
    • “ I want to know more about cancer…”
    • Needs? Actions? Search strategies? Challenges and barriers? Sources?
  • 18. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • Buying a product
  • 19. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • Visiting a library
  • 20. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • Locating a law
  • 21. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • Betting on a race horse
  • 22. COMMON INFORMATION BEHAVIORS
    • “ I want to know more about cancer…”
  • 23. Information Seeking Models
  • 24. INFORMATION SEEKING MODELS
    • Describe and (attempt to) explain circumstances that predict actions by people seeking to find information
  • 25. INFORMATION SEEKING MODELS
    • Flow-charts and diagrams
    • Suggest sequences of events
    • Specific, often defined in relation to theories
    • See Handout
  • 26. INFORMATION SEEKING MODELS
    • Wilson (2 models) (1981, 1999)
    • Krieklas (1983)
    • Leckie, Pettigrew and Sylvain (1996)
    • Bystrom and Jarvelin
    • Savolaienen (1995)
    • Johnson (1997)
  • 27. Wilson’s (1981) Model
  • 28. Krikelas Model (everyday behavior) Information gathering Information giving Need-creating event/environment Needs (deferred) Needs (immediate) Source preference Internal External Memory Direct (structured) observations Direct (interper-sonal) Contact Recorded (literature) Personal files
  • 29. Leckie, Pettigrew & Sylvain Model
  • 30. Bystrom & Jarvelin Model
  • 31. Johnson Model
  • 32. Information Seeking Theories
  • 33. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • George Zipf – Principle of Least Effort (1949)
      • Each individual will adopt a course of action that will involve the expenditure of the probable least average of his work
  • 34. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Principle of Least Effort
      • Language usage
        • E.g., word distributions
        • 1930 census – city populations
      • ‘ Harmonic distributions’
  • 35. A plot of word frequency in Wikipedia (November 27, 2006). x   is rank of a word in the frequency table; y   is the total number of the word’s occurrences. Most popular words are “the”, “of” and “and”, as expected.
  • 36. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Principle of Least Effort
      • 80/20 or 70/30 rule
        • Library collections
        • Internet websites
        • Dorsch and Pifalo study (1997) – medical journal circ.
  • 37. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Principle of Least Effort
      • Professional asks nearest coworker
      • Artists use nearest tools
      • Consulting older (closer) resource instead of a more current one
  • 38. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Principle of Least Effort
      • Using interpersonal sources vs. authoritative sources
      • Dervin: relying on close friends and relatives
      • Other examples?
  • 39. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Principle of Least Effort
      • Cost-benefit paradigm - the trade-off between the effort required to employ a strategy and the quality of the resulting action
  • 40. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Cost-Benefit Paradigm Applied to IB
      • Seekers will minimize the effort required to obtain information, even if it means accepting a lower quality or quantity of information.
      • Case, Looking for Information (2007), 154.
  • 41. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Uses and Gratification (Mass Media)
      • Audience plays an active role (not passive) in selecting sources
      • The person uses the medium, not the other way around
  • 42. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Uses and Gratification (Mass Media)
      • Media are only a portion of a range of options for fulfilling needs
      • Use can be studied by asking people directly
  • 43. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Uses and Gratification in LIS
      • Chatman – studied working-class poor (janitors)
        • How the poor define/deal with problems
        • Reasons for non-active information seeking
  • 44. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Play Theory and Entertainment Theory
      • Are information and entertainment two different things?
  • 45. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Play Theory and Entertainment Theory
      • Stephenson (1967) – humans manipulate their intake of entertainment and information to serve their emotional needs
        • Pleasure principle
  • 46. INFORMATION SEEKING THEORIES
    • Play Theory and Entertainment Theory
      • Humans tend to:
        • Seek pleasure and avoid pain
        • Mix work with play
      • E.g., reading the news
  • 47.  
  • 48. See You Next Week!