This paper discusses incidental information acquisition in the light of psychological aspects. A theoretical introduction is followed by an account of three research projects where incidental information acquisition was related to personality traits, approaches to studying, and emotions. The respondents were grades 6-12, master's thesis, and mature library and information science (LIS) students representing an age range of 12-53 years. An energetic personality, high motivation, and positive emotionality were shown to enhance likelihood for incidental acquisition, while low motivation, stress, and insecurity reduced receptivity. (C) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.