ERIC Number: ED328268
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Reference Count: N/A
Facilitating Information Seeking through Cognitive Modeling of the Search Process. A Library Studies Research Project.
Kuhlthau, Carol C.; And Others
Prior research on the information-seeking process, conducted by Kuhlthau in the school library setting, led to the identification of a six-stage model of the search process, describing cognitive and affective symptoms commonly experienced by library users. The present study was designed to determine whether that model is generalizable to other types of libraries. Findings indicate that, in general, the model also holds for users in academic and public libraries. The problem addressed is the complex sense-making process of users in an information search over an extended period of time, particularly changes in thoughts and feelings as a search progresses. The work is in the tradition of Belkin's anomalous state of knowledge, Taylor's levels of information need, and Dervin's sense-making. Findings indicate that thoughts about a topic become clearer and more focused as one moves through the search process, seeking more relevant and pertinent information. Feelings accompanying these changes matched those predicted in the Kuhlthau Model with confidence steadily increasing. Uncertainty, confusion, and frustration decreased and feelings of being satisfied, sure, and relieved increased during the search process. However, participants' perceptions of the search task often did not match the cognitive and affective symptoms predicted by the early stages of the model. Activities designed to infuse the findings into practice included the development of an institute for practicing libraries and the design of learning modules for MLS programs. A symposium for scholars actively engaged in this field of research was also planned. (MAB)
Descriptors: Academic Libraries, Cognitive Measurement, Cognitive Processes, Emotional Response, Higher Education, Information Needs, Information Seeking, Learning Resources Centers, Models, Psychological Studies, Public Libraries, School Libraries, Secondary Education, User Satisfaction (Information), Users (Information)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ. School of Communication, Information, and Library Studies.
Identifiers: Cognitive Research; Kuhlthau Model