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Self-Efficacy Stimulates and Motivates Information Seeking

What stimulates and motivates information seeking, mainly involve psychology but other elements also played a crucial factor.

Not every need gives an incentive to undertake activities leading to seeking information.

For example, an individual does not engage seeking activities if he or she convinced that owned knowledge is enough to understand and decide.

If he or she lacks such conviction, the stress connected with danger of making a mistake, trespassing social or legal norms, financial responsibility or not answering expectations of other people, occurs.

Higher the stress, bigger the motivation to look for information. Up to certain point where the stress paralyses such activities.

Activating factor needed to cope with situation or to solve a problem. Wanting a reward can induce this feeling of need, even if the reward means only the comfort coming from removing feeling confusion.

The risk or reward theory explains people seek information in certain information sources and why are more often used then other.

An important stimulator of information behaviour is also to feel self-efficacy, explained by social learning theory.

Expecting efficiency is the estimation whether a person can successfully carry out the behaviour. It affects strongly decisions to undertake necessary activities, and decides whether a person even try to cope with the situation.


Wilson, T.D. (1981) On user studies and information needs, Journal of Documentation, 37(1), 3-15.

Wilson, T.D. & Walsh, C. (1996) Information behaviour: an interdisciplinary perspective. A report to the British Library Research and Innovation Centre. London: British Library Research and Innovation Centre.

Wilson, T.D. (1999) Models in information behaviour research, Journal of Documentation, 55(3), 249-270.

Wilson, T.D. (2000) Human information behavior, Informing Science 3(2), 49-55.