KWF Kankerbestrijding is an organization, which aims to fight against cancer. Less cancer, more healing and a better quality of life for cancer patients: that is the purpose of KWF. To ensure this, they subsidize researches according to this topic, provide information and education and support patients. _Every year 100.000 people are diagnosed with cancer. In almost 15.000 cases this regards breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer in the Netherlands. Every year 3.230 people pass away due to the effects of breast cancer. _These facts did KWF did decide to start a research project on breast cancer awareness, patient information and patient support among women of all ages above 16 years old. Because creating awareness is the most important prevention strategy.
This proposal will address how this research will be designed in this connection which theoretical models, model extension, measurements and briefly the next steps are outlined.
Two research models are used for this study, namely the Everyday Life Information Seeking model of Savolainen and the Channel Choice process model of Pieterson. Everyday Life Information Seeking model focuses on how social and cultural factors affect how people acquire information in daily life. The second model, the Channel Choice Process model addresses the way of picking a specific channel for a specific task. _
Everyday Life Information Seeking Model
The ELIS model is a descriptive model. Thus it gave a representation about how the process works rather than suggest, like normative models, how a process should look like or how things should work due to an assumption or standard. An important feature of Savolainen's model is that it takes psychological and personality traits into account. It describes that everyday problem solving is increasingly dependent on the critical selection and use of information sources. _Another meaningful feature of this model is that it pays attention to the situation or context of an information seeking progress. This can be expressed in hobbies, lack of time or which is important in this research health situation. Furthermore it takes social capital, also described as contact networks, into account.
Savolainen posed the question central how people find information seeking in the aim to manage their daily activities. Based on this question Savolainen sees the use of information as an integral component of everyday life, rather than a separate activity. The way in which information is handled depends upon the result of the information retrieval. It may take two forms. On the one hand, it may involve deliberately seeking behavior, which seeks to satisfy an information need. On the other hand, people may also get accidentally in contact with information. This information may be useful for the current situation in which young people find themselves, but as well make sense for a future situation. Most research focuses on the deliberate forms of information seeking to fulfill a particular need or information requirement.
This model emphasizes the role of social and cultural factors that affect people's way of preferring and using information sources. It incorporates concepts such as social capital and cognitive capital and considers economic factors such as one's wealth. Thus Savolainen empirical studies have considered how socio-economic class affects one's media consumption. It might also be said to consider a linger time frame in human lives, as Savolainen is ultimately concerned with what he calls the 'mastery of life' - the ways in which we identify projects, budget our time, keep order in and make sense of our lives. The model is less of a depiction of a casual process than a list of important concepts than must be explored in an in depth interview.
Channel choice process model
The second model used in this study is the Channel Choice Process model, which examines the process a person experiences by choosing a specific channel for a certain task. Rational theories, like for example the Social Influence Theory or the Media Richness Theory, state that people make a particular choice based on their rationality. Many theorists encountered this view by their lack of the (inter)subjective norms in their views. The majority of the theorists and theories state that channel choice is (inter)subjective and social constructed. Pieterson goes even one step further. In his view habits play a key role in the process of choosing a channel.
According to Pieterson, in first instance people are guided by habits. Here factors as situational and emotional constraints are more important. After that, in second instance people start the consider task and channel characteristics as more important. Briefly, this is the time when people start with reasoning. With the approach of Pieterson it is confirmed that channel choices are more complex than previous described in theories. Different factors, like for example personal differences, are of different importance in different situations.
Extended version ELIS_
During this research project the ELIS model of Savolainen will be leading. Hereby will, where necessary, the Channel Choice model of Pieterson be add. As a result a specific part of the Channel Choice model will be added and this will result in an extended version of the ELIS model. _In consideration of this research, channel choice will be taken as a part of the model. This relates to the long-term process. It can be seen as an important concept op the view of Pieterson, offering people to develop their habits. By extending the ELIS model with the channel usage view, it is clear that in our daily information seeking progress habits also play a role.
Values and attitudes as a part of the model is focused on personal facts. The ELIS model suggests that way of life ('order of things') and mastery of life ('keeping things in order') determine each other. Hereby, they are affected by values, conceptions and their current phase of life (Fisher, Erdelez & McKechnie, 2005).
The distribution of different kinds of capital in relation to capital owned by others determines the total value of the material, social and cultural capital, thus determining the basic conditions of way of life and mastery of life. However, way of life or mastery of life does not determine how a person seeks information in individual situations. As a constellation for everyday activities and their mutual valuation, way of life provides only general criteria for preferring and using various sources and channels so that the preferences are natural or even self-evident in the light of earlier choices.
To ensure increased awareness this research gives extra attention to the personal information needs of people to find out about breast cancer. This is a personal fact, which can differ extremely between people. Thereby, it is possible that it have an interesting view about how the level of people's needed to know influence the process of making them aware.
The information needs of people is going to be measured by the use of a questionnaire, which can be presented in an online and offline form. Respondents are sketched a situation, whereby two different manipulated situations are used. The first situation is a severe situation and the second situation is one that is not severe. To what extent feel people in a not severe condition the need to look for more information and thereby fulfill their information need? The questionnaire will answer this question.
Another value that will be taken into account during our research project is the concept of social capital, notion that Savolainen refers to contact and networks. To give an extended view of what social capital is, use will made of other theorists as well.
For the exactly definition of social capital, two major approaches to its concept have emerged. Most popular are the approaches of Coleman (1988) and Putnam (1995). They describe social capital as inhering in the dense networks of social interaction, which foster 'sturdy norms of generalized reciprocity and encourage the emergence of social trust' (Putnam, p. 67). _The second approach by Lin (2001) considers social capital to include resources to which individuals have access through their social relationships. When individuals have a high level of social capital they are able to take advantage for reaching personal goals. According to the vision of this theory is social capital in particular in favor of weaker links, who may climb socially or get access to networks or resources which otherwise would be not accessible.
Social capital will be measured in this research in a similar way as the values and attitudes. It will be a part of the questionnaire about the information seeking process about this subject. However, the way it is presented in the questionnaire will differ. Social capital will not make use of the Likert-scale but have choice options. In this way respondents choose the option, which they consider as the most appropriate one. On the basis of a number of manipulated situations the best-suited option will be chosen.
Emotional and situational factors are important (inter)subjective factors, which influence the information seeking process. To what extent do the respondents care about the chance that they get breast cancer. Or anyhow care about their personal health? And how do contextual variables take an important place in this process? Think hereby at the lack of time or the ease of use. _Due to these (inter)subjective factors, people differ in the way they seek for information. Where one wants a lot of information, another just doesn't want to know. The choice for information sources can be affected by the availability and accessibility of information (Savolainen, 2008). This also counts for situational or contextual factors such as lack of time, ease of use and the speed of use (Julien & Michels, 2004). For these factors, again use will be made of a questionnaire.
Another point of interest during our research will be the current situation of life. Hereby in this case it is important to take the current health situation into consideration. When somebody feels sick already, he or she is more likely to look for more information. In this research subject, for example when somebody finds a spot on his or her breast. In the questionnaire five statements will be added due to this subject whereby the matter will be how fit, energetic and healthy they consider themselves.
After approval of this research project, the final preparations for the start will make. Therefore, there is a time needed with a maximum of two weeks. The study itself will take about three months. During the first phase, the survey will be distributed and promoted on the Internet. Think of news or other general online resources. It is important that not select only people who are already looking for the information. That would mean that we get the wrong idea. On a part time basis, a team of 3 researches will work on the topic. In the second phase, they together will analyze the data in terms of validity and reliability. And in the final phase, the data will lead to the findings of the research.
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