Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences
Many personality traits connect to interest, intrinsic motivation, and exploration. This chapter critically reviews research on individual differences related to interest. One class of models (associated with researchers such as Spielberger, Naylor, Kashdan, Maw, and Litman) examines trait curiosity — the stable tendency to be more or less curious. Other models propose individual differences in the breadth versus depth of interests and in boredom proneness. Sensation seeking (associated with Zuckerman) and openness to experience (associated with McCrae and Costa), the two most widely-studied traits related to interest, receive extensive attention. The chapter concludes by identifying the most promising models and by highlighting the limitations of self-report measures of individual differences.
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