Theories of Information Behaviour Essay

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According to Marcia J. Bates information behaviour “is the currently preferred term used to describe the many ways in which human beings interact with information, in particular, the ways in which people seek and utilize information. The broad history of research on information seeking behaviour over the last 50-60 years is reviewed, major landmarks are identified, and current directions in research are discussed” (Bates, 2010, 2381). Two of the most well known theorists of information behaviour are Thomas Wilson and Carol Kuhlthau. Wilson's theories have proved to play an important role in the development of information science and information seeking behaviour. Whereas Kuhlthau’s initial analysis focused heavily on the emotional strains …show more content…
Her studies proved that when test subjects were searching for information they did not merely focus on gathering and absorbing information, they were subconsciously involved in a complex process of construction. Information seeking is a productive process, in which individuals not only absorb information and alter it and apply it as they see fit. Information seeking occurs in cognitive, affective, and physical domains. The information search process can be divided into six stages: Initiation, Selection, Exploration, Formulation, Collection, and Presentation. Each stage is associated with a certain emotion. The uncertainty principle: the belief that a lack of understanding or questionable conception of information ans thus results in use seeking information to compensate. This uncertainty is a cognitive state that causes affective feelings of anxiety. Kuhlthau describes five levels of intervention or mediation for reference services based on the ISP model: Organizer, Locator, Identifier, Advisor and Counsellor. For instruction, the five levels are Organizer, Lecturer, Instructor, Tutor, and Counsellor. Kuhlthau describes five zones of intervention for reference services based on the ISP model.
The similarities between models can be seen in the sense that Kuhlthau’s relates to the active search mode of information seeking behaviour and provide, in effect, an expansion of

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