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The differences and similarities between curiosity and interest: meta-analysis and network analyses

Tang, X., Renninger, K. A., Hidi, S. E., Murayama, K., Lavonen, J. and Salmela-Aro, K. (2022) The differences and similarities between curiosity and interest: meta-analysis and network analyses. Learning and Instruction, 80. 101628. ISSN 0959-4752

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2022.101628


Three studies on the relationship between curiosity and interest are reported. The first study was a meta-analysis that examined the Pearson correlations between scales assessing curiosity and interest. Based on 24 studies (31 effect sizes), we found that the curiosity scales correlated with the interest scales at a moderate level (r = 0.53), but they had extremely high heterogeneity. The second and third studies applied network analyses (i.e., co-occurrence analysis and correlation-based analysis) to data that was collected using experience sampling method. Across the studies, we found that while the feelings of curiosity reflected feelings of inquisitiveness, the feelings of interest were aligned with positive affect such as enjoyment and happiness. Importantly, an asymmetrical pattern also was found in curiosity-interest co-occurrences: when feelings of curiosity occurred, the co-occurrence of feelings of interest was highly likely, but not so vice versa. Overall, our findings suggest that feelings of curiosity are special cases of feelings of interest that pertain to knowledge acquisition. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:105256


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