Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Seeking Behaviour of Masters Students: Affective and Behavioural Dimensions

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Information Seeking Behaviour of Masters Students: Affective and Behavioural Dimensions

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

The centrality of information behaviour and its development has greatly affected information literacy among students of higher learning in United Kingdom. Masters students in the United Kingdom are unique in that they are expected to conduct a small research study for their dissertation that requires a researchfocussed literature review. Despite several research in this area, none has captured the effect of information behaviour among master's students during their dissertations. It is difficult to discuss information literacy devoid of emotions and behaviour in the learning process. This research uniqueness is its ability to capture this particular group during their most important period research.

According to Lopatovska and Ioannis (2011: 575) emotions form an integral part of life. Matteson et al, (2013: 97) describe emotions as episodes of correlated and synchronized changes in all or some of the organismic subsystems in response to internal or external stimuli. Emotions are included in the cognition process. Previous studies have established a causal link between information processing or seeking and emotions. Information processing is a cognitive component that entails an emotional function in which an individual evaluates events and objects. Additionally, emotions have a motivational component that triggers direction, behaviour and preparation of actions (Matteson et al 2013: 698).

Wilson's proposition broadens the scope of the information seeking behaviour beyond the traditional elements discussed earlier. Different models of information seeking behaviour addressing different information needs have come to existent in literature. Wilson (1997) proposes a generalized model based on an interdisciplinary perspective. According to this model, while information needs vary from one discipline to another, a general model can explain the general information needs across the plethora of disciplines. The view is based on the rationale that the information seeking models relate to the purpose they serve, and all the models have a certain degree of relation. Wilson (1999) integrated two of Ellis models (1986; 1984) to demonstrate the relationship between the models and their capability of functioning as one. In 2004, Allen proposed another general model referred to as the Nonlinear Model. However, the author argues that individuals can only retrieve information from a natural state. Consequently, if a model that serves all is required, it must be different from Elli or Kuhlthau's models. In his view, Allen claims that the search process models do not represent the real or natural life situations. Consequently, the models cannot capture a general perspective of information needs of other disciplines as suggested by Wilson. Additionally, technological improvements have rendered some of the models obsolete. The models have failed to examine emotions in information seeking behaviour in the context of library and information management.

The aim of this research is to investigate the emotions and behaviour at the various stages in the information seeking of Master's students at Manchester Metropolitan University. Consequently, it seeks to answer the following question. How do masters student search during their dissertation? For the sake of direction, it is pertinent to outlines objectives that will guide us as we progress. Below are our aim and objectives:

1.1 Aim and Objectives

1. To review previous research on emotions and behaviour in information seeking with a view to identifying key emotions and behaviour and their mappings to models of information seeking.

2. To identify the emotions and behaviour associated with the stages of information seeking in specific educational contexts

3. To evaluate the information seeking behaviour of master's students at Manchester Metropolitan University

4. To reflect and gather insights on the role of emotions and behaviour as a motivator in information seeking

5. …

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