How people approach facts and information varies today, i.e…(a.) what information to trust, and (b.) how much they want to learn. Some, of course convey interest and engagement with information while others appear wary and disinterested.
For a percentage of people, when they engage and consider information and facts…numerous variables come into play insofar as drawing conclusions and/or serving as preludes to (their) learning.
For example, personal interest in the subject matter and/or how information sources – mediums are perceived…relative to one’s professional and/or political interests rather obviously serve as influencers.
The actual level of trust (believability, acceptance, etc.) one attaches to a particular information (fact) source…a late 2016 Pew Research Center survey reports, is likely to be (variously) related to…
- how it is connected to the topic or question which one may have developed a perspective and presumably now is seeking additional insight.
- what other aspects of the subject matter (information) are competing for attention in one’s life and thoughts?
- one’s ability to pursue (access) necessary information.
- one’s receptivity – eagerness to consider – learn something new.
- recognizing that one’s current knowledge base and/or perspective warrants new-additional information.
The data collected for this Pew Research Center survey titled, ‘How People Approach Facts and Information”…occurred between September 29 – November 6, 2016.
The survey’s findings sparked my interest…in large part due to challenges that I and colleagues routinely encounter when articulating the intangible asset sides of business, to business persons, i.e. seminars, public speaking, consults, published papers, interviews, etc.
This particular Pew Survey explored how people engage information…they cast respondents in five dimensions, i.e., an ‘information-engagement spectrum’…
- Eager and Willing – 22% of U.S. adults
- Confident – 16% of adults
- Cautious and Curious – 13% of adults
- Doubtful – 24% of adults
- Wary – 25% of adults
Pew deemed these typologies useful because…they add insight to conventional analysis using demographics, i.e., gender, race, class, age and education.
A key takeaway from the above typology analysis…is that there is not a ‘typical’ information consumer, instead, there are factors-variables which shape and influence why, how, and perceptions people hold about information sources they may engage.
There are however, clear variations regarding peoples’…
- interest in information.
- trust in various sources.
- eagerness to gain further skills dealing with information
This Pew survey found some elements stand out…often relative to one’s enthusiasm for and interest in learning, presumably, something new, in this instance, digital skills.
It turns out there are times when…
- these factors align – that is, when people trust information sources and they are eager to learn, or
- people distrust sources, and have less interest in learning.
Too, there are other times when either factor above may push in opposite directions, i.e.,
- people may be leery of certain information sources.
- however, convey enthusiasm for learning.
Combining people’s views toward new information and their appetites for it…allowed Pew to create ‘information-engagement typologies’ that highlight various ways American respondents (to the survey) deal with these cross pressures.
(This post has been adapted by Michael D. Moberly from the excellent work of John B. Horrigan at Pew Research Center.)
Michael D. Moberly September 19, 2017 [email protected] St. Louis the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ blog posts published ‘where attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’!
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