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Spink: Cultural factors in development

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If we take it that everybody has an information behaviour instinct, in other words, that there's a genetic underlying basis to it, that all humans are born with that, the problem is that people in different environments in different cultures are going to have access to different tools and support. I mean, if you’re born into, say, a tribe in Papua New Guinea, you're not going to have the ability to use your information behaviours as much as a child, say, that grew up in New York, that has access to a lot more different information tools. So it's the difference in culture, probably, that allows people in more advanced technology cultures to have more opportunity to use their information behaviours. I mean, that's fundamental to a lot of people's livelihoods. Doctors, for example. You can’t have a very good doctor unless they're able to diagnose and use information. And we know that doctors now are being trained in what is called evidence-based practice, which is they need to collect information to understand and provide the basis for their diagnosis. So doctors have really good, well-developed information behaviours. Because otherwise they couldn’t really function as physicians.

Added on 01 Apr 2017