CogAHealth - Cognitive Authorities in Everyday Health Information Environments of Young People

Funded by the Academy of Finland, the CogAHealth project investigates the construction of health-related cognitive authorities, that is, trusted and influential information sources, among young people. The project examines what information sources young people consider credible and how authority is constructed in modern, multimodal health communication. The findings can be used to promote health, wellbeing, and health equality of the young.

In the past few decades, people’s health and wellbeing have steadily improved in Western countries, but the lifestyles of children and the young are a concern. Obesity rates among young people are increasing and their physical condition has deteriorated due to their unhealthy diet and inactive way of life. This phenomenon are expected to lead to severe national health problems in the future.

The project is based on a socio-cultural viewpoint, and it combines the perspectives of information studies and educational sciences on transforming literacies in everyday life informal online environments and formal school settings. The points of departure are the notions of information literacy, multiliteracy and new literacies, which refer to competencies that are crucial for dealing with modern, interactive information environments also in health contexts. You cannot always know what to believe and who to trust in the ever-changing flood of information in the contemporary society and the global world. Adolescents may feel that they are like a chameleon, because they must change their colour due to the impact of information from various sources.

The project will be implemented in collaboration by the Information Studies’ researchers of the Faculty of Humanities and researchers from the Faculty of Education at the University of Oulu in 2016–2020.

Here, you can learn how the project works, how the research is conducted and what kind of findings will be obtained.


Academy project