C. (1998, January 1). Dazed and confused we hurtle towards
2000. The Independent [London]. Available: Dow
Jones Interactive [1/5/99].
details on Dr. David Lewis' schema of 5 different personality types
for dealing with life's complexities.
Gilbert, D.T., Trafarodi, R.W., &
Malone, P.S. (1993). You can't not believe everything you
read. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 65, 221-233.
performed show that comprehension of information includes an intial
belief in the data comprehended. The Spinozan theory of belief
"suggests that belief is first, easy, and inexorable and that
doubt is retroactive, difficult, and only occasionally sucessful."
Students who were under cognitive load, interrupted, or under time
pressure believed false information and used it in making subsequent
decisions. According to Gilbert, in order to correct false
information, people need: 1) a set of rules for logical analysis;
2) a set of true beliefs to serve as standards; and 3) ability and
motivation to perform such analysis and revision.
Gilbert, D.T. (1991). How mental systems believe. American
Psychologist, 46, 107-119.
the truth of ideas is an automatic and involuntary part of comprehension.
Even if people are warned in advance that the information presented
will be false, they nevertheless temporarily encode it as true.
Doubt and rejection are secondary processes and involve conscious
effort. Developmentally the ability to deny or negate propositions
is one of the last linguistic abilities acquire by children. (In
order to comprehend a negative statement, people must first comprehend
the corresponding affirmative statement.)
disposition to believe what is presented is evident even when people
are presented with possible hypotheses: they will seek evidence
to confirm the hypothesis unless they are asked to comprehend both
the hypothesis and its contrary. Because evaluating and "falsifying"
ideas is secondary and conscious, it is resource intensive.
When adults are subjected to great stress or heavy cognitive load,
the ability to doubt and reject ideas is impaired.
Gilbert, D.T., Krull, D.S., & Malone, P.S. (1990). Unbelieving
the unbelieveable: some problems in the rejection of false
information. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 59.
true and false information are initially represented in the mind
as true. Even when students knew ahead of time that information
would be false, they were not able to represent the information
initially as false. Rejecting ideas or labelling them as false
requires a second step separate from comprehension/acceptance.
Interruptions and cognitive load decrease the possibility that students
will correct false information.
D.T., & Osborne, R.E. (1989). Thinking backward:
some curable and incurable consequences of cognitive busyness.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 940-949.
under cognitive load tended to gain false impression due to their
inability to process situational contextual cues. When given
an opportunity to reevaluate, busy students spontaneously corrected
their impressions. If students were not given time to reassess
their impressions, subsequent information processing was contaminated
by the false impressions. Once false impressions have spread,
they are difficult to remove from an individual's web of belief.
C. C. ( 1993). Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach
to Library and Information Services. Norwood, N.J.:
a process approach to doing research based on cognitive psychology.
For a detailed chart of research process and the cognitive and psychological
aspects which accompany it, see Kulthau's Model of the Stages of the Information Process
J. (1988). The information society and the new competence.
American Behavioral Scientist, 32, 104-111.
"information society" has an imbalance between information
input and information output which results in conginitve dissonance
and information overload. In such situations, people cope
by reducing the amount of information through schemas. Some
people uncritically defer to authorities or "escape to religions,
myths, and dogmas." Impressions instead of knowledge
are valued. Visual media become very influential. It will
be crucial that people are able to evaluate information consciously
and critically. Teaching people to process information becomes
J.C. (1998). Data, data everywhere. Management Review,
the results of the Reuter's survey on information overload.
Discusses the symptoms of "information fatigue syndrome."
S. (1970). The experience of living in cities:
adaptations to urban overload create characteristic qualities of
city life that can be measured. Science, 167, 1461-1468.
adapting to the stimulus overload of urban environments react by:
allocating less time to each input, disregarding low-priority inputs,
shifting the burden to the other party in some social situations,
screening social contacts, creating filtering devices to diminish
the intensity of inputs, and creating special social institutions
to handle certain types of interactions.
G.A. (1956). The magical number seven, plus or minus two:
some limits on our capacity for processing information.
Psychological Review, 63, 81-97. (Full text of this article
at The Magical
Number Seven. (new window))
beings have severe limitations on the amount of information they
are able to receive, process, and remember. Their "span
of immediate memory" or "channel capacity"
is limited to approximately 7--plus or minus two-- items.
Through recoding items so that information to be remembered is
placed in larger "chunks," it is possible to expand
this channel capacity somewhat.
M.H. (1981). Dealing with information overload. Personnel
Journal, 60(5), 373-375.
the stress caused by information overload. Hints for reducing
stress and promoting health are provided.
C.E. (1987). Roles: A Strategy to Avoid Information
Overload. Central Issues in Anthropology, 7(1), 9-12.
research makes it clear that (a) the human brain is limited in its
ability to process data, (b) the limitation is not susceptible to
training, and (c) it is approximately the same for all humans."
Given the above, Richards states that human interaction would place
an information overload on individuals without the templates provided
by roles based on gender, age, kinship, and compartative power.
As societies increase in population, the number of recognized roles
decreases due to this inherent processing limitation.
D. (1997). Data smog: surviving the information
glut. San Francisco: HarperEdge.
the social and psychological consequences of information overload.
Provides 13 "Laws of Data Smog" and 5 antidotes for the problem.
R.S. (1987). Information Anxiety. NY:
the anxiety caused by "the ever-widening gap between what we
understand and what we think we should understand." Strategies
for accessing and understanding information and for coping with
information overload are presented.
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