The psychology of curiosity: A review and reinterpretation.

  • george loewenstein
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Abstract

Research on curiosity has undergone 2 waves of intense activity. The<br />1st, in the 1960s, focused mainly on curiosity's psychological underpinnings.<br />The 2nd, in the 1970s and 1980s, was characterized by attempts to<br />measure curiosity and assess its dimensionality. This article reviews<br />these contributions with a concentration on the 1st wave. It is argued<br />that theoretical accounts of curiosity proposed during the 1st period<br />fell short in 2 areas: They did not offer an adequate explanation<br />for why people voluntarily seek out curiosity, and they failed to<br />delineate situational determinants of curiosity. Furthermore, these<br />accounts did not draw attention to, and thus did not explain, certain<br />salient characteristics of curiosity: its intensity, transience,<br />association with impulsivity, and tendency to disappoint when satisfied.<br />A new account of curiosity is offered that attempts to address these<br />shortcomings. The new account interprets curiosity as a form of cognitively<br />induced deprivation that arises from the perception of a gap in knowledge<br />or understanding.

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APA

george loewenstein. (1994). The psychology of curiosity: A review and reinterpretation. Psychological Bulletin, 116(1), 75–98. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.116.1.75

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