Interest and Its Development

K. Ann Renninger and Stephanie Su

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Motivation

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195399820
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Interest and Its Development

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This chapter focuses on interest as a cognitive and affective motivational variable that develops and can be supported to develop. Interest and interest development as described by Hidi and Renninger's (2006) Four-Phase Model of Interest Development are (a) defined and then (b) contextualized in light of other conceptualizations that focus on specific aspects of interest (such as emotion, experience, task features, value, and vocational interest) and issues pertaining to the operationalization and measurement of interest. Following this, research addressing the development of interest is overviewed, with particular attention to (a) the triggering of interest in both earlier and later phases of interest, (b) maintaining interest once it has been triggered, (c) fluctuations in interest, and (d) shifts between phases in the development of interest. Finally, a Punnett square is employed to suggest next steps and open questions in the study of interest development.

Keywords: achievement; affect; interest; interest development; knowledge; metacognition; value

Article.  14983 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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