Influence of demographics and information literacy self-efficacy on information avoidance propensity among youth

Muhaimin Karim, Gunilla Widén, Jannica Heinström

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Introduction. The aim of the study was to observe the propensity of actively avoiding information among the youth and explore whether their demographics and information literacy self-efficacy have any influence on this tendency.Method. An online questionnaire survey was conducted and young people between 15 and 29 from different countries in Europe participated. Out of 7,368 responses, 3,324 complete responses were selected for further analysis.Analysis. Frequency analysis, and mean comparison were used to understand the extent of information avoidance within the youth. Linear regression analysis was used to explore the influence of demographics, and information literacy self-efficacy on information avoidance.Results. The study revealed that approximately 25 % of the respondents would actively avoid information if they suspect it to be negative. The result indicated that higher education and higher information literacy self-efficacy can reduce the propensity of information avoidance. It was also observed that the respondents coming from rural areas and respondents who are not employed are more inclined to avoid information.Conclusions. The study indicated that one-fourth of the youth are likely to avoid challenging information in their daily lives. The result underlines the omnipresence of information avoidance as a natural part of everyday life information behaviour. The result also discloses the link between education, information literacy, and information avoidance which paves the path for future research.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)
Number of pages13
JournalInformation Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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