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Chapter 10 Information Behaviour Development in Early Childhood

New Directions in Information Behaviour

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

Publication date: 5 October 2011


This chapter explores new and emerging dimensions in our understanding of how information behaviour develops in early childhood. Spink (2010) proposed that information behaviour — when we engage in behaviours to make sense of, seek, avoid, forage, use and organise information — is (1) shaped by both instinctive and environmental dimensions that are as essential to the lives of our prehistoric ancestors as they are for people today and (2) emerges in early childhood. This chapter explores what we currently know about the development of cognitive, language, social and information behaviour abilities in early childhood. Drawing on research from cognitive and developmental psychology, and findings from two studies of different aspects of young children's information behaviours, including Web searching (Spink, et al., 2010) and library information categorisation (Cooper, 2004), the chapter discusses information behaviour development in early childhood. The connection between general cognitive development and information behaviour are discussed, and further research suggested.


Spink, A. and Heinström, J. (2011), "Chapter 10 Information Behaviour Development in Early Childhood", Spink, A. and Heinström, J. (Ed.) New Directions in Information Behaviour (Library and Information Science, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 245-256.



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