Perceptions of knowledge, actual knowledge, and information search behavior

Carmen M. Radecki, James Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study explored determinants of perceptions of knowledge and the influence of perceived knowledge on information search behavior. Hypothesized determinants included actual knowledge, personal relevance of the topic area, peer reference group, and self-esteem. The information search process was believed to be influenced by perceived knowledge, level of self-monitoring of the individual, and the public versus private nature of the information environment. A theoretical model illustrating these relationships was tested in the substantive domains of nutrition and birth control using EQS. Results indicated a low correspondence between actual and perceived knowledge, a negative relationship between perceived knowledge and information search behavior, and an assimilation effect between peer reference group and perceived knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-138
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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