The communication information -seeking model: Examining information -seeking motivations and associated channel use
The primary objectives of this study were to (a) introduce and partially test the communication information-seeking (CIS) model, based upon an extension of the uses and gratifications perspective, and (b) to create a measure for identifying motives to seek information. The CIS model was used to show how communication, social, psychological, and situational antecedents affect motivations to seek information and choose communication channels. The initial testing of the model focused on the antecedents and motives for seeking health information on the Internet and on channel use. The antecedent measures used to test the model included unwillingness to communicate, contextual age, and social support scales.
The research questions and hypotheses were tested using factor analysis, canonical correlations, and multiple regression analyses. The sample ( N = 318) surveyed was comprised of private organizational and governmental employees, library patrons, and health department patients. The results from the factor analysis identified seven motives, which were used to form the Internet health motives scale. They included information, relief, interpersonal, entertainment, convenience, support, and privacy motives. Canonical correlations described Internet users as people who found communication interaction unrewarding, were less mobile, less satisfied with life, experienced fewer opportunities for interpersonal interaction, and avoided or feared communication. They accessed the Internet about health-related issues for relief, convenience, privacy, and interpersonal motives. Also, those in poor health who were socially active and enjoyed satisfactory levels of social support used telephone and face-to-face interaction and read books and articles about health.
The model was tested using multiple regression analyses. The mobile, but less satisfied with life, who experienced rewarding interaction, used the Internet regarding health. The results provided initial support for the CIS model, and the use of the communication, social, psychological, and situational antecedents, and the Internet health motives scale for testing the model. A discussion presenting the limitations and implications associated with the results and directions for future research were provided. The model is intended for multiple information-seeking tasks (e.g., instructional, political, news, sports, travel), strategies (e.g., gather, compare, verify information), and communication channels (e.g., media, interpersonal).
0723: Information systems