Table 1
Nahl, Kuhlthau, and Dervin:
Key Concepts of Three Complementary User-Centered Methodologies
Nahl's Self-Witnessing
Behavioral Model
Kuhlthau's Diagnosis/
Intervention Orientation
Dervin's Sense-Making
Communication Theory
The Main Question
What users feel, think, and do during an information session or task What stages users go through and how to assist them in the information seeking process How users assimilate information and apply it to their life situation
The Main Answer
Instructing lifelong novices to acquire integrated behavioral self-modification habits Diagnosing user problems and intervening with particular information services at the appropriate stage Empowering users by facilitating information transfer within society
Key Concepts
  • Integrated ACS information unit
  • Self-witnessing method
  • Affective micro-information skills
  • Teaching self-regulatory information speech acts
  • Modifying self-efficacy beliefs of searchers
  • Planning user-based behavioral objectives
  • Lifelong novices and information literate novices
  • Constructivist personality theory
  • Searching is seeking meaning
  • Longitudinal stages as a process approach
  • Attention to affective and cognitive needs
  • Overcoming uncertainty and information anxiety
  • Zones of intervention for information services
  • Information counseling
  • Constructivism/ Communitarianism
  • Information as clay vs. brick
  • Observer vs. user constructs
  • User-based user categories
  • Relativistic information framework
  • Searching is filling an information gap
  • Knowledge is information transfer
  • Information exchange as a communicative act

From: Diane Nahl, An Integrated Theory of Information Behavior: Taxonomic, Psychodynamic, Ethnomethodological. Spring 1996.

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