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Chapter 9 Understanding Casual-Leisure Information Behaviour

New Directions in Information Behaviour

ISBN: 978-1-78052-170-1, eISBN: 978-1-78052-171-8

Publication date: 5 October 2011


Originally grounded in library and information science, the majority of information behaviour and information-seeking theories focus on task-based scenarios where users try to resolve information needs. While other theories exist, such as how people unexpectedly encounter information, for example, they are typically related back to tasks, motivated by work or personal goals. This chapter, however, focuses on casual-leisure scenarios that are typically motivated by hedonistic needs rather than information needs, where people engage in searching behaviours for pleasure rather than to find information. This chapter describes two studies on (1) television information behaviour and (2) the casual information behaviours described by users of Twitter. The first study focuses on a specific casual-leisure domain that is familiar to many, while the second indicates that our findings generalise to many other casual-leisure scenarios. The results of these two studies are then used to define an initial model of casual-leisure information behaviour, which highlights the key differences between casual-leisure scenarios and typical information behaviour theory. The chapter concludes by discussing how this new model of casual-leisure information behaviour challenges the way we design information systems, measure their value and consequently evaluate their support for users.


Elsweiler, D., Wilson, M.L. and Kirkegaard Lunn, B. (2011), "Chapter 9 Understanding Casual-Leisure Information Behaviour", Spink, A. and Heinström, J. (Ed.) New Directions in Information Behaviour (Library and Information Science, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 211-241.



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