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Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process


Kolarić, Alica
Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process, 2020., doktorska disertacija, Odjel za informacijske znanosti, Zadar


CROSBI ID: 1101423 Za ispravke kontaktirajte CROSBI podršku putem web obrasca

Naslov
Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process

Autori
Kolarić, Alica

Vrsta, podvrsta i kategorija rada
Ocjenski radovi, doktorska disertacija

Fakultet
Odjel za informacijske znanosti

Mjesto
Zadar

Datum
22.12

Godina
2020

Stranica
474

Mentor
Ivanka Stričević ; Colleen Cool

Ključne riječi
adolescents, decision making, information behaviour, information behaviour studies, research

Sažetak
Although the topic of adolescent information behavior in the context of dealing with everyday life concerns and challenges has gotten some of the research attention, the adolescent information behavior as a part of the decision making process is still a relatively under- examined area in the library and information science field, both in the international context and in Croatia. Adolescence is a sensitive period of leaving the age of childhood, and gradually taking over the responsibility for managing one’s own life, including taking over the burden of making one’s own decisions. Starting with the assumption that being well-informed increases adolescents’ ability to make some sound decisions, this dissertation sought to reveal: (1) what are the adolescents’ information needs that arise from everyday life decisions, (2) what types of information behavior accompany the information needs, (3) how adolescents select sources to acquire helpful information, (4) to what extent information serves as a basis in adolescent everyday life decision making. The study took the social phenomenological approach and employed a three-phase, sequential mixed methods strategy to explore the phenomenon of interest. The methods used include focus group interview, a survey and a semi-structured individual interview. The study was conducted among high school students in the city of Rijeka, third-graders and fourth-graders coming from three types of high schools: grammar school, art school and vocational school. The focus group interviews sample consisted of 22 students, the survey sample included 270 students, and the semi-structured individual interview sample consisted of 18 students. The research was conducted from February 2018 to June 2020. The results show that the participants’ information needs originate from a multitude of everyday life decisions in diverse areas of life: education, future and career, identity and personality development, relations to other people, social life and behavior, earning and money management, appearance, leisure time activities and entertainment, consumption of illegal and/or harmful substances – drugs and alcohol, purchase, food and diet, health, and others. However, they seem to be aware of only one type of information need, the one that originates from decisions related to higher education and career. Moreover, it showed that the participants acquire information which helps them in making everyday life decisions via two main types of behavior: active and passive. Active behavior includes intentional information seeking, information sharing, and information avoidance, while passive behavior includes passive monitoring of information and passive attention, which sometimes results in an accidental acquisition of some useful information. Two main types of information sources are consulted for information that might help in making decisions: interpersonal sources of information, and sources that are available online, on the Internet, while traditional information sources, such as books, magazines and newspapers, are rarely consulted, libraries especially. Interpersonal sources of information include family members, friends and peers, and people with experience and knowledge in the domain of the decision, while sources available on the Internet include the Internet in general, usually approached from the Google search engine, specialized websites and social networking sites. Overall, interpersonal sources of information are preferred sources of helpful information. Although it is believed that the information acquired from social networking sites cannot be completely trusted, it is considered useful to some extent. Four types of information source characteristics serve as criteria (i.e. reasons) which the participants use when choosing where to seek information: (1) the characteristics related to credibility and cognitive authority, which guarantee that the information provided is of good quality (e.g. source being knowledgeable, experienced, honest, etc.), (2) other personal characteristics of interpersonal information sources which refer to a kind of personal trust, which does not exclusively refer to trust in providing information of good quality, but more to some personal trust the decision-maker puts in the consulted interpersonal source of information (e.g. source being helpful, understanding, supportive, in a close relationship to the decision-maker, etc.), (3) the accessibility characteristics which enable quick, simple and easy access to information (such as being easily and quickly accessible, convenient to access, etc.), and (4) the form characteristics which enable that useful information to come in various formats, which makes the information appealing to the participants and easier to comprehend (the form is visual, auditory and textual, interactive). Furthermore, the judgment of the credibility of the acquired information is mainly based on the characteristics of the information sources which provided the information. Some of the criteria used are the characteristics of information sources which correspond with two main components of credibility, competence in some area and trustworthiness (e.g. knowledgeable, experienced, honest, believable, etc.), but some others do not. These other information source characteristics, which are used for the credibility assessment, are some of the personal characteristics of interpersonal information sources (e.g. being familiar to the decision-maker, supportive, in a close relationship, etc), and popularity and reputation in the user community for social networking sites. As these information source characteristics do not stem from knowledge, expertise, and other features that can be linked to the concept of credibility, and include opinions of anonymous individuals expressed online, we may argue that they do not seem to be the proper way of judging credibility and do not guarantee the quality of acquired information. Nevertheless, some of the adolescents deal with the credibility issues by using the strategy for verifying the accuracy of information by comparing information acquired from different information sources. The findings show that the participants’ cognitive authorities include mostly their friends, parents, especially mothers, and experts in the domain of the decision, such as physicians, teachers, university students, and in some cases some YouTubers. The adolescents base their trust in their cognitive authorities on features such as experience and knowledge, which aligns with the general understanding of cognitive authority and characterize sources which can be trusted to make a positive influence on one’s decision. Nevertheless, they also base their trust in the authorities on some characteristics which highlight the importance of the quality of the relationship between the decision-maker and the person who is believed worthy of authority, which seems important in the construction of the cognitive authority of the interpersonal information source. Finally, it showed that the acquired information provides two types of help that facilitates the adolescents' decision making: instrumental help which assists in increasing the knowledge and deepening the understanding of the decision situations they deal with by providing some new knowledge, a second opinion, another perspective, etc., and emotional help which provides encouragement, inspiration, motivation, assurance, approval, and similar forms of support. This dissertation contributes to the library and information science by systematizing the existing body of knowledge on the research topic and reflect upon it from the view of the research findings, and by shedding new lights on an important area that has not been explored in Croatia yet and has been insufficiently explored in the international scholar community. It offers some valuable insights to adolescents and information educators, who educate them to navigate today’s complex information environment successfully. It is expected that the results will contribute to the development of strategies and methods for teaching decision-making skills to adolescents, information literacy being one of them, to help them make well-informed decisions. Lastly, it offers the methodological framework and strategy, built for conducting the research among the sensitive population of adolescents about their everyday life issues, to be used in some future studies.

Izvorni jezik
Engleski

Znanstvena područja
Informacijske i komunikacijske znanosti



POVEZANOST RADA


Ustanove:
Sveučilište u Zadru

Profili:

Avatar Url Ivanka Stričević (mentor)

Avatar Url Alica Kolarić (autor)

Citiraj ovu publikaciju

Kolarić, Alica
Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process, 2020., doktorska disertacija, Odjel za informacijske znanosti, Zadar
Kolarić, A. (2020) 'Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process', doktorska disertacija, Odjel za informacijske znanosti, Zadar.
@phdthesis{phdthesis, author = {Kolari\'{c}, A.}, year = {2020}, pages = {474}, keywords = {adolescents, decision making, information behaviour, information behaviour studies, research}, title = {Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process}, keyword = {adolescents, decision making, information behaviour, information behaviour studies, research}, publisherplace = {Zadar} }
@phdthesis{phdthesis, author = {Kolari\'{c}, A.}, year = {2020}, pages = {474}, keywords = {adolescents, decision making, information behaviour, information behaviour studies, research}, title = {Understanding adolescent information behavior from the perspective of informed decision making process}, keyword = {adolescents, decision making, information behaviour, information behaviour studies, research}, publisherplace = {Zadar} }




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