A search for information man / Roberts(1982)

Citation - Roberts, N. (1982). A search for information man. Social Science Information Studies, 2(2), 93-104.

keyword - information behavior

  • this paper examines the notion of “information man” by analogy with “economic man”
  • this paper seeks to discover how the concept has been used implicitly in user studies and bibliometrics.
  • conclusion:
    • this paper argues that information man is to be found in such studies
    • the reasons for this are examined.
    • more sophisticated versions of information man are seen to be emerging from some recent work

the characteristics distinguish information man for general human

  • indulging reasoning information act, i.e., possessing a full knowledge of available information sources allowing the selection of the 'best' source for a specific purpose; accepting and applying information so that 'best' decisions result.
    完全理性的資訊行動。即,從可取得的資訊來源具有完整的知識,能根據具體的目的選擇最好的來源,以達到最好的決策結果。
  • Whereas classical economic man was made to inhabit a world shaped by economic considerations primitive information man lives in a world shaped by the need to generate, obtain and use information; no other form of activity capable of influencing information behaviour is allowed to intrude.
    鑑於在世界中的古典經濟人是基於對經濟的考量才形成的,因此,在世界中原初的資訊人是由對創作、獲得、使用資訊的需求所形成的。而不考慮其他形式的活動的影響。
  • Undertaking information activities within recognizably artificial information environments, e.g., the formal information system of a single organization.
    處理在可辨識的人工資訊環境中的資訊活動。例如,單一組織的正式(formal)資訊系統。

inductive

使用者研究是歸納的(inductive), 是收集「事實」(facts),並將之轉為對可應用與具概化力的行為變項陳述

information man 在使用者研究中的隱含假設

  • information man's behavior is relatively stable over time; there are very few longitudinal studies to suggest an interest in contrary view.
    資訊人行為在時間因素中是相對穩定的。很少指出行為趣向間矛盾的歷時性研究。
  • That information behavior may be described adequately in terms of relationships with information systems of artificially limited potential, e.g., a library and its documents, a rigorously delimited group of specialists, use of certain forms of printed records.
    其資訊行為也許會在其相關資訊系統限制下被描述。如,圖書館與其文件,嚴密區隔的專家群體,使用某些格式的引刷紀錄等。
  • That motives impelling individuals to the use of information systems are evident enough not to require systematic investigation, and that aspects of behaviour other than the direct obtaining and use of information are irrelevant to the understanding of the information process.
    其使用資訊系統的個人動機即足以證明,無須系統性探究。且,與直接獲得與使用資訊以外面向的行為,則與對資訊程序的瞭解不相關。
  • That there exists a direct, and positive, relationship between such behavior consequences as productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, achievement, etc. and the usage of information and information systems.
    其存在著行為序列間的引導性、正向關係,如:生產性、有效性、效率、成就等,以及資訊與資訊系統的使用。
  • That information behavior is rationally motivated and organized. Those studies which embody the 'who knows better than the user' view fall into this class. Numerous studies, however, express concern at the non-rational, or imperfect, information behavior of studied groups (see, e.g., Ford, 1977:70; Hounsell, 1980). A difficulty associated with such views is that, usually, the observed elements of non-rationality are derived from a comparison with the information seeking practices of information scientists rather than from evaluations of rationality based upon individual information requirements in a context of available time, opportunity costs, possible consequences, etc. Although it might be claimed that information scientists have a vested interest in making such critical observations of information seeking behavior, such deviations from rationality have rarely been employed to alter working assumptions regarding information man, although they could be claimed to influence service attitudes and practices.
    其資訊行為是理性地被動機驅使的與組織的。一些被視為「知道的比使用者觀點更多」的研究都屬於這種類型。然而,許多研究也注意到非理性或不完全的資訊行為。連結這些見解的困難在於,觀察到的非理性元件,是經由與資訊學者的資訊尋求工作比較而來的,而非透過時間、機會成本、可能性序列脈絡中的個人資訊需求分析而來的。雖然,也可以宣稱資訊學者在做出此資訊尋求行為的批判觀察有一定的重要性,然而,此種偏差很少被注意到,或理解為對資訊人的一個假定。

“基本上,資訊人並沒有一個分析性的角色;即使是在有限的資訊環境中。資訊人的功能是提供一隱含的存在。”

沒有發現「資訊人」此一隱含假定的原因

  • 行為主義的研究取向不具演繹邏輯的基礎。
    • 即使近幾年資訊科學家已經察覺此事(不具演繹邏輯),但仍為被說服重新建構其假定為一種更實在論(realistic)的形式。相反地,資訊科學研究朝向發展出更精細的研究方法,而非改變其假定。
    • 此一基本教義派式的歸納取向,隱蔽了將理論講明白,使資訊人的概念成為資訊科學分析工具的需求。
    • 缺乏此一理論性假定的釐清,使得使用者研究只能在特定事物上,而限制其研究結果的進一步概化與運用。
    • 資訊學者的實用主義傾向與非社會科學背景,也阻礙了學科對此問題的重視與解決。
  • 追根究底,所有資訊活動都可化約為個人動機與行動。情勢可想為 由 形塑確定的資訊行為傾向 導向 成為分析工具。
    • 顯然,這並沒有發生。
    • 大家都認為資訊科學研究結果缺乏進一步概化與理論化的能力。唯一的普遍法則只有「最小努力原則」,而這實際上此原則也並不歸功於任何資訊學者由資訊行為研究中獲得的成就。
    • 更掃興的意見是,理論性的(資訊)科學是難以存在的,因為不論隱含的或顯著都沒有共通的假定可作為理論的基礎(Brookes, 1980)。

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