From Information-Seeking Behavior to Meaning Engagement Practice.
Implications for Communication Theory and Research
Article first published online: 10 JAN 2006
Human Communication Research
Volume 28, Issue 2, pages 298–312, April 2002
How to Cite
Mokros, H. B. and Aakhus, M. (2002), From Information-Seeking Behavior to Meaning Engagement Practice. Human Communication Research, 28: 298–312. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2002.tb00810.x
- Issue published online: 10 JAN 2006
- Article first published online: 10 JAN 2006
We invite readers of this colloquy on information-seeking behavior to reconsider the worldview that structures scholarly and practical thinking about information-seeking behavior as a mode of human activity. We propose an alternative formulation–meaning engagement practice–to draw into relief the assumptions that tacitly underpin the investigation of information-seeking behavior. We develop this alternative by contrasting information with meaning, seeking with engagement, and behavior with practice. By rethinking information-seeking behavior through the lens of meaning engagement practice, avenues for theoretical development and systematic investigation of communication more generally are recovered. We ground our case for meaning engagement practice in four research contexts: modeling the user in information mediation, information access and browsing as relevant processes for understanding information-seeking behavior, the products and by-products of an information-seeking behavior worldview in psychiatric evaluation, and approaches to the design of mediation practices that encourage reflection.