Loughborough University
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The impact of culture on information behaviour: a case study of the outcome of the polio eradication campaign in Nigeria

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posted on 2017-01-10, 09:18 authored by Mojeed A. Amidu
Every human being applies their acquired knowledge during the interpretation and application of information, but all the humanly acquired knowledge are shaped by the social information processing model as determined by the traditions and values embedded in their culture. Therefore, the transition from information seeking to the application within a person is not completely dependent on cognition but in the current socio-cultural interpretation of that information. The cultural background of every individual often determines the interpretation and the understanding derivable from any information. Human socio-cultural values are the intervening variables during information seeking, and they can be grouped into three, namely psychological, physiological and environmental, but none acts alone during information seeking and application. Hence, culture as a factor must be considered both psychologically and environmentally to understand its impact on IB because culture comprises of both the tangible and the intangible aspects of human life. The aim of this study is to investigate the main reason for the contrasting results of the polio campaign across the north and south of Nigeria. The study adopted a mixed method approach comprising of a semi-structured interview and focus groups for the collection of data that adequately describe cultural variables to determine the aspects of culture directly impacting on IB, such as language, customs, traditions, and religious values which cannot be quantified or counted. The research approach considered IB in its totality and viewed information not only as tools designed by human to enhance communication and conceptualization of realities but also as the means which enabled the achievement of the desired goal for both the providers and the users of information. Therefore, IB was not only viewed from the context or content of the information but from the way people search, receive and utilise information to meet their respective needs. The study considered the how ; the what ; the where and the whom people consult when in need of information or for the explanation about the information received but not understood, to determine the chosen culture group s IB By considering culture from a multi-disciplinary perspective and IB evolutionarily, the study investigates the impact of cultural orientation on IB through the way the people of Nigeria relates with the polio eradication campaign. The study links all the factors of culture, such as language, tradition, and religion to the ways people relate to information, and the findings revealed that culture plays a significant role in the IB of individuals right from the point of the perceived knowledge gap to the point of information application. The language associated with the people s religious belief was also found to be of significant influence on language preference during communication of information, as well as in the process of encoding and decoding of information. Thus, culture did not only impact on IB during information seeking and application but also the language for the communication of information. Cultural orientation significantly impacted on the way people relates to the polio campaign as a consequence of their IB, and this informed their interpretations of the polio campaign and the eventual outcome of the campaign within the north and south of Nigeria.



  • Science


  • Information Science


© Mojeed Adekunle Amidu

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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