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Information Seeking

Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick

Subject Psychology
Communication Studies » Communication Reception and Effects

Key-Topics information

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Information seeking may be considered as at the heart of much communication. It includes deliberate, intentional pursuit of further knowledge, as well as the more casual skimming of messages and accidental observations and encounters. Scholars in communication research have employed the term in a variety of contexts – for instance, interpersonal relationships, →  Organizational Communication , personal health issues, mass communication, →  Political Communication , or database and Internet use (→  Interpersonal Communication ; Health Communication ; Internet ; Exposure to the Internet ). The following overview is structured by these areas. An overarching methodological problem in information-seeking research is that individuals may often be unable or not willing to report their information-seeking behavior with the accuracy and precision required. Fortunately, new communication technologies have provided not only new forms of information seeking but also new ways to observe and measure it, for example through log files (→  Log-File Analysis ). A research domain that has examined information-seeking behaviors is interpersonal communication. Information seeking in this context has been categorized into using passive, active, and interactive strategies to gain information about others, in particular in episodes of initial interaction between strangers ( Berger 2002 ). In short, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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