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Information poverty [資訊貧困]

Key person: Elfreda Chatman (1996)

  • Her research focused on understanding information behavior through the social factors influencing the behavior.
  • build up 3 middle-range theories: Information poverty, life in the round, and normative behavior.
  • Question: What constitutes a poverty lifestyle?
    • Phenomenon: Did not find the expected results of information sharing in homogeneous population.
    • Interpretation:
      • social network theory can't explain;
      • developed her own theory of Information poverty.

Information poverty:

  • Key concepts: self-protective behaviors invoked during the information seeking process 資訊尋求程序中的自我保護行為
    • secrecy 守密(隱蔽自我): “intentional concealment…the overall intent of secret information is the idea that it will protect a person from unwanted intrusion into private space.”
    • deception 欺瞞(自我扮演): “Deception is a deliberate attempt to play-act, that is, to engage in activities in which our personal reality is consciously being distorted. It is a process meant to hide our true condition by give false and misleading information.”
    • risk-taking 冒險(風險評估): “an attribute affecting the acceptance of an innovation based on our perception of whether it is worthwhile or not. It doesn't seem to merit consideration if, weighted against personal or negative cost, the result would be negative.”
    • situational relevance 情境相關: Situational relevance is conceptualized as being consistent with the term “utility”
  • 6 propositions:
    1. The information poor perceive themselves to be devoid of the sources that might help them.
    2. Information poverty is partially associated with class distinction.
    3. Information poverty is determined by self-protective behaviors, which are used in response to social norms.
    4. Both secrecy and deception are self-protecting mechanisms due to a sense of mistrust regarding the interest or ability of others to provide useful information.
    5. A decision to risk exposure about our true feeling is often not taken due to a perception that negative consequences outweigh benefits.
    6. New knowledge will be selectively introduced into the information world of poor people. A condition that influences this process is the relevance of that information in response to everyday problems and concerns.


  • 資訊貧困也是由資訊尋求行為研究中導生而來的。但是由於採用質性日常生活探究,因此在經驗資料中有許多既有資訊尋求模式無法處理的現象。
  • 「資訊貧困」實際上是一種符合自我保護機制的生存策略。此一生存策略的層級與「積極進取」、「資訊豐富」、「萬般皆下品唯有讀書高」、「升大學」、「資訊分享」等等是相同的。
    • 我認為,權衡各種生存策略的效用,即,個人如何選擇採用何種策略,取決於行動者個人當下的外部情境。
    • 我認為,選擇「資訊貧困」作為生存策略也是人的理性行動。其中各種行動決策也是個人理性判斷的結果(見命題5,6)。
    • 此一生存策略的形成,除了與外部情境因素相關的個人判斷,我認為也可能與社會性認知有關。
    • 我不認為「資訊貧困」是一個必須避免或譴責的現象。我認為各種生存策略都是平等的,各自有各自的場域效用。在某種情境場域下,資訊貧乏可能是較優策略。因此找出此一生存策略的優勢情境也是有意義的。
    • 如研究取向為避免此現象,亦需追究積累出此一生存策略的情境因素。
    • 研究應該接受或是拒絕此一「資訊貧困」,需由宏觀角度進行公共選擇研判。
  • 命題2不具體。因為(1)「階級(class)」的定義不明; (2)「部份地(partially)相關」保留此命題的曖昧性。
  • 命題1,是由外部來決定主觀的有用性。「有幫助的」應取決於主觀當事人的判斷,另外也需考慮獲取資訊背後影響的機會成本。命題1欲論定資訊貧乏者的行為不合理性之處。




@htchien [資訊貧困]是指某些人會傾向遠離對自己有幫助的資訊;會自我封閉、欺瞞、隱瞞自我感覺得一種自我保護傾向行為


  • Chatman, E. A. (1996). The impoverished life-world of outsiders. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 47(3), 193-206.