Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences

Paul J. Silvia

in Exploring the Psychology of Interest

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195158557
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199786824 | DOI:

Series: Psychology of Human Motivation

 Interest, Personality, and Individual Differences

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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

Chapter.  8954 words. 

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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