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Toward an Integrated Framework of Information and Communication Behavior: College Students’ Information Resources and Media Selection

Soo Young Rieh, Brian Hilligoss and Jiyeon Yang

(Submission #34)


This study investigated college students’ selection of information resources and engagement in information activities from the perspective of an integrated framework of information and communication behavior by examining students’ interactions with many different types of information resources and media across their school, work, personal, entertainment, and other daily routines. Both web-based diaries and semi-structured interviews were used to capture people’s information behavior in natural settings. The subjects logged into a web-based diary and recorded the details of their most important information seeking activity on that day by responding to eleven questions including information seeking topic, resources used, time taken, difficulty, familiarity, and confidence. Two hundred and forty-five information seeking episodes reported by twenty-four subjects from three different colleges and universities were collected over a ten-day period. Findings indicate that the subjects used multiple information resources in one information seeking episode to make direct comparisons of content. The subjects were often involved in both information and communication behaviors in the process of information seeking. The results also reveal that information seeking can be better understood from a social framework because the subjects’ were aware that human information behavior is influenced by other people’s opinions and recommendations and it may also affect other people’s lives.


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