Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


School of Library and information Science

First Advisor

Samantha K. Hastings


Human motivation is a widely debated construct in psychology and many disciplines in social science as well as education and health sciences have adopted various psychological theories in an effort to understand motivational forces behind many human activities from dieting (e.g., Schelling, Munsch and Margraf, 2011), psychotherapy (e.g., Martens, 2010) and academic achievement (e.g., Artino, Holmboe and Durning, 2012) to political participation (e.g., Hersh, 2012). Case (2012) devotes an entire chapter in his seminal text on information behavior to an overview of what he calls a “motivational puzzle” tying it to information need as the predominantly discussed dimension of motivation in information science literature.

Similarly to information science, where the subjectivist tradition researchers such as Dervin recognized goal achievement only partially accounts for information need as a motivational force in the information seeking process, recent psychological motivational theories moved toward differentiating between goals and increasingly focus on their behavioral and affective consequences (Deci and Ryan, 2000). By examining goal content and the regulatory processes through which goals are pursued, self-determination theory (SDT) used in the current study accounts for a spectrum of motivational force

Consistent with the subjectivist orientation in information science which aims to account for cognitive and affective forces behind information need, SDT recognizes the role of psychological development and well-being in goal attainment. Using structural equation modeling, the current study examines information seeking motivation in undergraduate students and its relationship with basic human needs satisfaction, as defined in SDT literature, as well as its effect on information seeking effort and enjoyment.


© 2016, Ana Dubnjakovic