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Exploring the Psychology of Interest$
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Paul J. Silvia

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195158557

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158557.001.0001

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Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences

Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences

(p.87) 4 Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences
Exploring the Psychology of Interest

Paul J. Silvia

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   traits, sensation seeking, openness to experience, trait curiosity, boredom proneness, breadth of interest

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