Factors relating to problems experienced in information seeking and use: Findings from a cross-sectional population study in Finland

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Ek Stefan
Publisher: University of Borås, Sweden
Place: Borås
Publication year: 2017
Journal: Information Research
Journal acronym: INFORM RES
Volume number: 22
Issue number: 4
eISSN: 1368-1613


Introduction. This study reports findings of a survey
that examined how people experience difficulties in relation to six
various aspects of purposive information seeking.

Method. The data were procured through distributing a
questionnaire to a representative cross-section consisting of 1500
Finnish citizens aged 18–65 years.

Analysis. The data were analysed by an exploratory factor analysis and ANOVA F-tests for means.

Results. There was a clear division between concrete,
distinct problems and abstract, vague problems in different phases of
people’s purposive information seeking. The former problems were
perceived to be much easier to cope with compared to the latter.
Socioeconomic status was associated with concrete, distinct problems:
higher education and disposable income, as well as being currently
employed, correlated with fewer reported problems. Socioeconomic status
was not significantly associated with abstract, vague problems.

Conclusions. With respect to socioeconomic differences,
perceived concrete, distinct problems in purposive information seeking
were in line with patterns reported in earlier research where
socioeconomic status in general is found to be a major predictive
determinant. But on the other hand, the findings pertaining to more
abstract, vague problems in purposive information seeking did not follow
well-established patterns; hence, socioeconomic status was not a
predictive factor.

Last updated on 2019-09-12 at 04:05