Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore how the affective aspect of information seeking is important in understanding information behaviour from a holistic perspective. While researchers have often explored adverse affective responses and coping mechanisms in information behaviour, this paper aims to focus on positive affect and the significant place of pleasure in amateur genealogists' information seeking and skills development. Design/methodology/approach – This study adopted a multi‐case, exploratory approach to learning about amateur genealogists' affective behaviour associated with their information seeking. A total of 24 amateur genealogists from around the world participated in semi‐structured telephone interviews about their hunt for their Irish ancestors. Data were transcribed and analyzed to identify patterns of affective behaviour during genealogical information seeking. Findings – The paper finds that amateur genealogists form a unique group of information seekers. Leisure functions as an important information seeking context, in which amateur genealogists associate information seeking with pleasure. Originality/value – Findings suggest that there is a pleasure principle associated with information seeking, which may offer insight into patterns of affective information behaviour leading to advanced learning, information use, and technological adoption among older adults.
Aslib Proceedings: New Information Perspectives – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 22, 2009
Keywords: Affective psychology; Genealogy; Information retrieval; Leisure activities; Lifelong learning; Adults
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