Information seeking

Knowledge about what motivates people to seek information about food risks and benefits is important for improving the practice of food risk/benefit communication. During the FoodRisC project information seeking behaviours (or the lack of them) is being explored in relation to a range of food risks and benefits. The main aims are:

  • Identifying the main predictors of information seeking behaviour in relation to risks and benefits
  • Developing profiles of the access and use of multiple information sources
  • Characterising responsiveness of web-based information seeking strategies to web based information provision
  • Identifying the significance of consumer contacts and questions in national food/consumer organisations

Work in this part of the project will ultimately lead to a model that explains the psychological processes that lead individuals to seek information on food risk and benefit issues.

As a first step, the project has set up a model to predict how people search for information in relation to food risk and benefit issues. Building on work carried out earlier in the project, the model in particular makes a distinction between taking notice of food information and purposefully searching for food information. The model also includes variables reported in the literature to be significant predictors of information seeking behaviour, such as information insufficiency, risk perception and trust.

In the next step, the project is gearing up to carry out a European survey with a pilot study already underway in the Netherlands.

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