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The Consciousness’ Drive

Information Need and the Search for Meaning

Authors: Cole, Charles

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  • Describes in a conversational style how humans find and use information to construct new knowledge
  • Based on Minsky’s frame theory how information is searched for and digested
  • Links information science with evolutionary psychology to explain how humans think and search for meaning
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eBook $59.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92457-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $79.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92455-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $79.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-06434-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

What is the uniquely human factor in finding and using information to produce new knowledge? Is there an underlying aspect of our thinking that cannot be imitated by the AI-equipped machines that will increasingly dominate our lives? This book answers these questions, and tells us about our consciousness – its drive or intention in seeking information in the world around us, and how we are able to construct new knowledge from this information. 
The book is divided into three parts, each with an introduction and a conclusion that relate the theories and models presented to the real-world experience of someone using a search engine. First, Part I defines the exceptionality of human consciousness and its need for new information and how, uniquely among all other species, we frame our interactions with the world. Part II then investigates the problem of finding our real information need during information searches, and how our exceptional ability to frame our interactions with the world blocks us from finding the information we really need. Lastly, Part III details the solution to this framing problem and its operational implications for search engine design for everyone whose objective is the production of new knowledge.
In this book, Charles Cole deliberately writes in a conversational style for a broader readership, keeping references to research material to the bare minimum. Replicating the structure of a detective novel, he builds his arguments towards a climax at the end of the book. For our video-game, video-on-demand times, he has visualized the ideas that form the book’s thesis in over 90 original diagrams. And above all, he establishes a link between information need and knowledge production in evolutionary psychology, and thus bases his arguments in our origins as a species: how we humans naturally think, and how we naturally search for new information because our consciousness drives us to need it.

About the authors

Charles Cole has been an information science researcher-writer-editor on information retrieval topics for over 25 years. This is his 3rd book for Springer (plus a fourth published by ASIST). Since receiving his Ph. D. in 1994 (University of Sheffield), Cole has published 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, including in the Journal of the Association of Information Science & Technology (19), Information Processing & Management (12), as well as Library Quarterly, and Research Quarterly (RQ). He is currently a Researcher, Affiliate Member, at McGill University’s School of Information Science.

Reviews

“This is an important book, well worth the effect necessary to absorb the, at times, complex arguments. It certainly ought to be a candidate for the ASIST Best Information Science Book Award … I am sure it will become a highly cited text and of great value to researchers in the field … . It is well written, dealing with complex topics in a readily understandable fashion, with the aid many diagrams and illustrations.” (T. D. Wilson, Information Research, Vol. 23 (04), December, 2018)
“The book is an outstanding example of the application of many basic and advanced concepts and practices in searching in general…It is well organized covering theory, applications, evaluation, and research directions…” (Tefko Saracevic, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Rutgers University, USA, Recipient of ASIST Award of Merit 1995)

“…The book is significant not only for the field of information behaviour, but also for information systems design (if such design is to be grounded in an understanding of how user’s information needs emerge and can be identified) and for information retrieval…the book is highly readable and illuminated by many original diagrams that aid in the interpretation of the ideas.  It is well organized, leading from theoretical ideas to potentially practical means for satisfying needs.” (T.D. Wilson, PhD, Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield, UK, Senior Professor, University of Borås, Sweden, Recipient of ASIST Award of Merit, 2018)

“...The book explains the exceptionalism of human consciousness that calls for a deeper level of information searching than is provided by the computational approach to search engines. This thought-provoking book is pertinent for scholars and lay readers alike.” (Carol Collier Kuhlthau, PhD, Distinguished Professor Emerita, Rutgers University, USA, Recipient of ASIST Award of Merit 2013)

“Cole’s book exemplifies an ambitious and highly innovative contribution to the perennial issues dealing with information needs. He pioneers by advocating a consciousness approach to information need and belief-based search. Despite the difficult topic, the book is easy to read, thanks to enlightening examples and visualized examples.” (Reijo Savolainen, PhD, Professor Emeritus, Tampere University, Finland, Recipient of ASIST Research in Information Science Award 2016)

Table of contents (17 chapters)

Table of contents (17 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $59.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92457-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $79.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-92455-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $79.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-06434-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Consciousness’ Drive
Book Subtitle
Information Need and the Search for Meaning
Authors
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-92457-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-92457-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-92455-7
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-06434-1
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
X, 247
Number of Illustrations
37 b/w illustrations, 88 illustrations in colour
Topics