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Lynn Westbrook, Ph.D.

School of Information

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Lynn Westbrook's research interests include the following three areas: information worlds of domestic violence survivors, the nature and quality of digital reference transactions, and the role of mental models in reference work. Her work with domestic violence survivors addresses their affective, cognitive, and behavioral concerns using the person-in-situation framework. The role of e-government (at both the local and state levels), the coverage of extended formal information support infrastructure, and the use of informal support structures (both in-person and online) are currently under examination in separate studies. The use of politeness theory and its application to formality indicators constitutes one aspect of digital reference research while the structure and content of the interactions bears a separate focus. The socio-cognitive study of mental model development and application in information seeking is her final area of study.

All three research threads intersect at specific nexus points. For example, a current study indicates that the mental models of domestic violence survivors develop at varying rates in response to standardized information frameworks employed at shelters and post-shelter independence levels might be fostered by the use of online reference support to support that development through information problem-solving.

Research Areas:

Human information interaction, Temporal pathways, Individual information determinations