Everyday energy information literacy. Defining the concept and studying it empirically in Finland

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa campus, Martti Ahtisaari hall (L2), Zoom link: https://oulu.zoom.us/j/64674255931

Topic of the dissertation

Everyday energy information literacy. Defining the concept and studying it empirically in Finland

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts, Master of Science (Economics and Business Administration) Teija Keränen

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Humanities, History, Culture and Communications research unit

Subject of study

Information studies

Opponent

Professor Peter Bath, University of Sheffield

Custos

Professor Maija-Leena Huotari, University of Oulu

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Everyday energy information literacy. Defining the concept and studying it empirically in Finland

The subject of this thesis is everyday energy information literacy (EEIL) among Finns. The purpose is to present a theoretical definition of EEIL and a related measure. The study has a novel approach integrating information literacy and energy literacy.

During the research process, a narrow EEIL definition and measure emphasising metacognitive competencies was elaborated and augmented to incorporate energy knowledge, values, attitudes and behaviour in the context of energy and climate change. The empirical data were collected from three populations: students of the University of Oulu (n = 1,390) in 2017, residents of Ii, a pioneering municipality in striving for carbon neutrality (n = 92) and a random sample of 2,000 Finns (n = 323) in 2018. The data were analysed statistically using multivariate methods and classical linear models.

The results indicate that the Finns’ EEIL is multidimensional, and perceived competence within these dimensions vary across their background characteristics. Younger Finns have more energy knowledge and better access to information, while older Finns are more likely to have better awareness in utilising energy information in everyday life. Women have more positive attitudes towards energy in relation to climate change mitigation, while men are more likely to be confident in finding and evaluating energy information. Educational level and familiarity with energy-related matters were found to be positively associated with energy knowledge and access to energy information. Based on the results, residence in a pioneering municipality in striving for carbon neutrality is not reflected in the households’ EEIL.

This thesis provides novel knowledge of Finns’ EEIL. The results indicate that including values, attitudes and behaviour are necessary for investigating context-specific information literacy. Developing the concept by integrating subjective and objective measurements offers insights for research within related fields. A measure based on a comprehensive definition can provide a more nuanced understanding of the EEIL of different groups. These indicative results may be utilised in energy education and communication striving for climate priorities.
Last updated: 27.8.2021