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What defines adequate information that may be used in decision making? This has been the aim of many current researches. Kuhlthau (2004) asserts that most policy makers are more concerned with coming up with deeper understanding of the ideas and concepts of enough information. Some of the themes have been developed empirically that try to further explain the phenomenon of adequate information and its relationship with the rules that govern the decision making stopping one from seeking more information. Some themes about the decision making during information seeking have emerged during the initial stages of data analysis. Some of these common themes include: the relationship between observing dateline and being able to assess the whether the information at hand is enough, interactive and fluid ways in which assessment is done, implications and the understanding of how decisions and judgments are done. Natural decision making is also discussed and suggestions are made under this perspective.
According to Case (2002), in order to ensure that we make decisive decisions when there is doubt that you have not catered for enough information, one has to frame the research question in context. This will assist in making decisions and judgment at the time of research closure. The framing takes the theoretical perspective putting the information in context. The research looks at the purpose of the information to realize the needs of that particular information. It looks at the information seeking behavior. An assessment of the information is done continuously to make sure that the constant decisions made are based on the enough information. The assessment is mainly aimed at the whether the information that exists during the closing stages is adequate.
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During the stages that one passes through in the information research process people face a lot of choices to make. This therefore raises the issue of the relationship between the process of looking for information and the stage of seeking and stopping of information. The basic definition of a decision making process is choosing between choices provided. The entire process of seeking for information and making a decision out of it can be understood as part of the multistage that ends up being a cognitive process. This process results in the making of the decision itself that is as a result of committing to take an action and there after make continuous evaluation of options. Decisions have been made in this situation whereby the decisions were made against some theories about human judgments and decision making.
The othr important issue that must be very well mastered in making decisions when the information is perceived inadequate is the culture of being able to stop the process of seeking information. This is commonly known as the stopping behavior. This concept was investigated both in theory and in experimental studies during the 1970's and 80's. Rules were established to govern the stopping process. Some of the rules included the establishment of the time constraint, frustration satiation and the law of diminishing returns.
Models were developed aimed at coming up with rules that determine the stopping point that is optimal. These studies have been carried out to try to give more insight on the decision to always stop searching or seeking for more information. Mathematical models and experiments based on laboratory tests were derived from the real world scenarios. Some works of outstanding classical theorists on decisions making cannot go unmentioned. These theorists came up with behavioral schools of decisions making whereby there are those for sequential decision making while other supported the idea of one accepting the alternative good context that allow him or her achieve the outcome needed other than seeking optimal outcome. This comes as a result of personal experience and other factors like the contextual factors (Kuhlthau, 2004).
Investigation of the assessments of whether the information is adequate is the other major factor that should be considered in the decision making process. For example, there are several factors that are considered before making a decision. These include the interest, work or task to be done, time factor and the information that is available. All these factors play an important role in influencing the decision taken in the stopping of information seeking and making of the final decision. Additionally, the other thing that can assist in decision in such context is the improvement of certainty signals that enable one to close the research for information and believe that all important points have been mentioned (Simon, 1997).. With that belief, certainty can improve the level of comfort that on develop with the amount of information that exists. All these views aim at improving the understanding closure of the research and the several perspectives that have been put across by various theorists. A number of themes that go through the empirical stages on the stages of closing the information seeking process have been put forward. They also include issues of time and the limitations of the cognitive process of deadline and information overlooad.
An insight into the decision making process during the information seeking process show some emerging empirical findings in to the economically and mathematically generated models of the decision making. These decisions have however faced another group of researchers who believe in the naturalistic decision making. This emerged as a result of dissatisfaction of with some of the theories that were both behavioral and optimal giving the explanations on how people make decisions. Naturalistic researchers on decision making investigate and describe how those people who are perceived to be experienced make their decisions under the constraints. Some of the common characteristics of a naturalistic decision making process in a real world settings include some of the contextual factors. Structured problems are a common phenomenon. The environment under which these decisions take place is very uncertain and dynamic. The other common characteristic is that individuals have competing goals that shift the purpose of their decisions making them to be ill-defined. Time constraints and organizational goals and norms are also the other common features (Simon, 1997).
In conclusion, research findings have shown the importance of developing a structure that is used to carry out the particular task. This findings further reveals how important this structures are used during the closing stages of the information seeking process. The framework that it provides is used in the assessment of adequate information. It is important to note the similarities and differences that exist between the policy makers who use existing models to make decisions and the works of the naturalistic decision making researchers who come up with the suggested approaches and theories that have offered much information seeking in context.
Classical theories or behavioral decision theories have also been propagated. However depending on this schools alone is not enough to understand the actual process that take place in the during research closure. For example in the earlier researches suggested stopping the decision making process was mainly focused on the models that are one-off sequential researches that involved making decision based on two options give. Empirical findings guide us that this is not how people experience decision making and judgment while seeking information in a real-world settings. Generally the emerging field can increase our understanding of how decision making is arrived at through judgments made when seeking the information in a dynamic and complex environment.
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