Zipf’s Principle of Least Effort: People will put forth the minimum effort required to obtain information, even if it means accepting lower quality or quantity of information.Source: Human behavior and the principle of least effort, Cambridge, MA: Addison-Wesley Press, 1949.
In other words, students are willing to accept information that is merely sufficient as long as they obtain it simply and easily.
Mooer’s Law: An information retrieval system will tend not to be used whenever it is more painful and troublesome for a customer to have information than for him not to have it.Remarks by Calvin N. Mooers during a panel discussion at the Annual Meeting of the American Documentation Institute, October 24, 1959.
“Having information is painful and troublesome. We have all experienced this. If you have information, you must first read it, which is not always easy. You must then try to understand it....Understanding the information may show that your work was wrong, or may show that your work was needless....Thus not having and not using information can often lead to less trouble and pain than having and using it.”Remarks by Calvin N. Mooers on October 24, 1959. Reprinted in the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science, October/November 1996.
Gross and Latham: “Students who are unable to demonstrate information literacy competency nevertheless exhibit a high level of confidence in their ability to find and use information effectively.”Source: “Undergraduate Perceptions ofInformation Literacy: Defining, Attaining, and Self-Assessing Skills,” College and Research Libraries, July 2009, p.336-350
But are the kids to blame? Are we good models?How do we guide them?