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date: 07 July 2022

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: (1) curiosity as a motive to reduce negative states, such as uncertainty, novelty, arousal, drive, or information gaps; (2) curiosity as a source of intrinsic motivation that fosters learning and exploring for their own sakes; and (3) 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, intrinsic motivation, personality

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