Process Account of Curiosity and Interest: A Reward-Learning Perspective

Kou Murayama, Lily FitzGibbon, Michiko Sakaki
<span title="2019-08-13">2019</span> <i title="Springer Science and Business Media LLC"> <a target="_blank" rel="noopener" href="" style="color: black;">Educational Psychology Review</a> </i> &nbsp;
Previous studies suggested roles for curiosity and interest in knowledge acquisition and exploration, but there has been a long-standing debate about how to define these concepts and whether they are related or different. In this paper, we address the definition issue by arguing that there is inherent difficulty in defining curiosity and interest, because both curiosity and interest are naïve concepts, which are not supposed to have a priori scientific definitions. We present a reward-learning
more &raquo; ... ramework of autonomous knowledge acquisition and use this framework to illustrate the importance of process account as an alternative to advance our understanding of curiosity and interest without being troubled by their definitions. The framework centers on the role of rewarding experience associated with knowledge acquisition and learning and posits that the acquisition of new knowledge strengthens the value of further information. Critically, we argue that curiosity and interest are the concepts that they subjectively construe through this knowledge-acquisition process. Finally, we discuss the implications of the reward-learning framework for education and empirical research in educational psychology. Many people agree that curiosity and interest are central parts of our intellectual behavior, playing an essential role in our daily and professional life. The importance of nurturing curiosity and interest in classrooms has been repeatedly emphasized in both academic and lay literature (e.g., Dewey 1913; Kohn 1986; Pink 2010; Renninger
<span class="external-identifiers"> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener noreferrer" href="">doi:10.1007/s10648-019-09499-9</a> <a target="_blank" rel="external noopener" href="">fatcat:phmqlvjbdfeovnikl6o5ubws5a</a> </span>
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