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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Curiosity is an old, intriguing, and vexing construct in the psychology of motivation. This chapter reviews the major strands of thought on curiosity and motivation. These strands include: (a) curiosity as a motive to reduce negative states, such as uncertainty, novelty, arousal, drive, or information gaps; (b) curiosity as a source of intrinsic motivation that fosters learning and exploring for their own sakes; and (c) curiosity as a stable motivational difference between people that leads to differences in knowledge, goals, achievement, and experience. The scope of psychological thought on curiosity defies a simple integration, but it offers inspiration for researchers curious about why people learn and explore in the absence of obvious external rewards.

Keywords: curiosity, interest, exploration, intrinsic motivation, novelty, openness to experience, personality

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