Models of Information Behavior

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INSTRUCTIONS

Part 1.

This week’s reading, chapter 7, focuses on the study of information behaviors through a review of the “models of information seeking”. The models of information seeking presented show the researcher’s “conceptualization” of the way in which people search for information, that is, showing the process a person might use to find information. From this conceptualization the research might form a theory, which would provide a general explanation for what is shown in the model. For this discussion Case&Given select twelve information seeking models, which were chosen because they “are more fully developed…or more widely used….” (pg. 145) In selecting these models for discussion Case&Given consider the models if it ” attempts to depict and explain a sequence of behavior by referring to relevant variables”. (pg. 146)

1. Develop your own “model of information seeking” (that is, the process you use for information seeking) using a diagram or narrative that shows the factors that are prevalent in your process for seeking information. Explain how this model depicts your information seeking behavior and does your model of information seeking behavior resemble any of the models presented in the reading?

2. After reviewing the models of information seeking what characteristic distinguishes Kuhlthau’s model from the others presented? In what areas of research is the Kuhlthau model used?

3.The next question is taken from Case&Given (2016) Appendix B for chapter 7.

Provide your thoughts about question #2 (pg.383) about “the models”.

(#2 – pg. 383) Which of the models depicted in this chapter makes the most sense to you? Which factors are most influential in your choice: The level of detail? The particular words chosen to describe the process? The emphasis — for example, written information, or everyday life information?

Part 2.

The following questions are taken from Case&Given (2016) Appendix B for chapter 7.

Provide your thoughts about questions #1, #3 and #4 (pgs.383-384).

1. (#1 – pg.383) Models are often said to precede theories — which is why this chapter appears before the chapter describing theories. Other than Wilson’s model, which explicitly mentions several possible theories, would you say that any of the other models embody any theories or assumptions about that way that people perceive, seek and/or use information? For instance, one possible assumption is that information resides in people (i.e., in terms of meanings) rather than in things (“containers” like books or films). For each model, then, would you say that the information seeking it describes is more of a search for meaning, or more about finding and examining the contents of information containers? Can you identify other basic assumptions behind these models?

2. (#3 – pg.384) The models described in this chapter appear to vary the most in regards to the “outcomes” — the explicit actions or other behaviors that come about as a result of the factors highlighted in the earlier stages of the model. Outcomes are variously characterized in terms of words like demands, success, satisfaction, attention, search, seeking, gathering, giving, interpersonal contact, and various kinds of “information use.” Why do models differ so much in the way that they describe human behavior that results from information seeking situations? Why isn’t there more agreement on a standard vocabulary for describing these things? Consider the main factors identified by each model and how that limits or proscribes what kinds of outcomes are likely in the case of each model.

3. (#4 – pg.384) What do you believe about the nature of reality? Does it exist completely outside of human consciousness, or do are some aspects of reality “constructed” by our minds and/or through social interaction? What do you take as evidence for your views, that is, what experiences or knowledge persuades you that your view of reality is probably accurate?

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