Comparing Models of Interest

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

 Comparing Models of Interest

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This chapter examines the distinction between interest and interests in light of other theories. One class of models (associated with Hidi, Renninger, and Krapp) distinguishes between situational interest, individual interest, and actualized interest. Another model distinguishes between emotional interest and cognitive interest. Based on a critical review of these models, the simple distinction between interest and interests appears to be a strong alternative model. The chapter then examines whether interest is merely the same thing as attention or importance, and whether interest and curiosity are different constructs. Finally, the chapter considers the complex relationships between interest and concepts of intrinsic motivation, with an emphasis on self-determination theory (associated with Deci and Ryan). Taken together, this book's model of interest and interests is a simple way of organizing the psychology of interest.

Keywords: curiosity; attention; importance; intrinsic motivation; situational interest; individual interest; emotional interest; cognitive interest; self-determination theory

Chapter.  5989 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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