Impetuses for First, Second, and Third Year Law Student Information Seeking Behavior, and Perception of Common Knowledge and Citation
Description: This dissertation examined how previous information literacy training, law student gender, age, and previously obtained education affects first, second, and third year law students selection of information sources, their understanding of common knowledge, and their decision of whether or not to give attribution to these sources. To examine these factors, this study implemented a paradigm called the principle of least effort that contended humans in general tended to complete the least amount of work possible to complete presented tasks. This study sought to discover whether law students follow this same path of completing the least amount of work possible to finish presented tasks, and whether this behavior affects information source selection, citation, and understanding of common knowledge. I performed six focus groups and crafted and disseminated an online survey to examine these factors. Via this data collection, it was discovered that law students do exhibit some differences in understanding of citation and citation behavior based on age and their year in law school. They also exhibited some differences regarding common knowledge based on their year in law school, where they received their information literacy training, and where they attend law school. Yet, no statistically significant differences were discovered regarding where one attends law school and citation and source selection. Further this study revealed law students do follow this paradigm and seek the path of least resistance to accomplish law school assignments.
Date: May 2016
Creator: Helge, Kristyn Swen
Partner: UNT Libraries