Distrust, mistrust, untrust and information practices

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Isto Huvila

Source:

Information Research, Volume 22, Number 1, p.paper isic1617 (2017)

URL:

http://www.informationr.net/ir/22-1/isic/isic1617.html

Keywords:

information behaviour, trust

Abstract:

Introduction. We report the results of an investigation of the role and implications of the shortage of trust (untrust), mistrust and distrust in the context of information work. Whereas trust has been discussed extensively in information studies literature, its dark side has been largely omitted before. Method. The conceptual discussion is based on empirical material gathered using thematic interviews of (N=17) Swedish archaeology professionals with special interest in the management of archaeological information. Analysis. The analysis of the interviews was based on a method drawing from the constant comparative method and close reading of the transcripts. Results. The analysis shows that it is possible to distinguish systemic factors related to components, systemic processes and environment that contribute to the emergence and persistence of trust, distrust, mistrust and untrust, and shifts between the different modes of (un)confidence. Conclusion. Distrust, mistrust and untrust have related but distinct influence on information work, they coexist with trust and can have similarly positive implications for the information activities. Finally, similarly to distrust and trust, also untrust and mistrust can be conceptualised following Luhmann as strategies of reducing uncertainty.

Information Services and Digital Literacy provides an alternative perspective for understanding information services and digital literacy, and argues that a central problem in the age of the social web and the culture of participation is that we do not know the premises of how we know, and how ways of interacting with information affect our actions and their outcomes.

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Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account: implications of a neglected element for success- ful implementation of consumer health technologies on older adults (HIBA) is an Academy of Finland funded research project at Åbo Akademi University.

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ARKDIS project maps the implications and opportunities of the digitalisation of information and information work in the domain of archaeology and to develop and evaluate conceptual and practical methods and procedures for enhancing archaeological information work in the digitalised environment.

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