Exploring the Psychology of Interest

Exploring the Psychology of Interest

3.57 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Interest, the momentary emotional feeling of curiosity, has always been a problem for mainstream psychologists because although simple interest and idle curiosity are always available to be cited as motives, they seem to be far too simple to account adequately for any aspect of human motivation or behaviour. The existence of interests, the enduring hobbies and avocations that give colour and frivolity to motivational life, gives rise to the question of why we are interested in some things rather than in others. Although this question is very important and basic to an understanding of human motivation and behaviour, it has generally been ignored or treated as simply too difficult to quantify. If properly understood, interest and interests could provide insights into many different issues, such as how transient emotional experience consolidates into lasting motives and how psychological states develop into traits. Understanding interest and interests and connecting the disparate areas within the psychology of interest are the primary goals of this book. As the first book on interest in decades, it will serve as the primary resource for anyone studying the psychology of interest.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 276 pages
  • 157.5 x 236.2 x 25.4mm | 612.36g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous line drawings, 3 tables, 1 black and white illustration
  • 0195158555
  • 9780195158557
  • 1,005,773

Review quote

"Anyone interested in emotions will find this book on the emotion of interest immensely interesting! If you are among those who question the status of interest as an emotion, this book will convince you. This very real emotion not only exists, but also plays a major role in shaping our lives. This book goes a long way toward documenting what I have long believed. Of all the emotions, interest has the greatest long-term impact across the life span."--Carroll E. Izard, PhD, Trustees Distinguished Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Delaware"Providing an exceptional critical examination of decades of theory and research, this book is a very significant contribution to our knowledge about the nature of interest and curiosity. The experience of interest is relevant to virtually every domain of human functioning including science, education, athletics, creativity, leisure, journalism, and politics. Thus, Silvia's thoughtful, scholarly, and provocative account of what is known about interest can appeal to those inside and outside of psychology."--Todd B. Kashdan, PhD, Department of Psychology, George Mason University"Silvia has done a good critical job throughout in terms of demanding that researchers' models have sound theoretical basis...Ultimatley, this book is a pretty good breakdown of a very diverse literature."--Applied Cognitive Psychologyshow more

About Paul J. Silvia

Paul J. Silvia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research explores the emotion of interest, particularly what makes things interesting or boring. In his free time, he drinks coffee, pets Lia, his Bernese Mountain Dog, and writes books. He is always asked why he finds interest interesting, but he doesn't know. Exploring the Psychology of Interest is his second book.show more

Table of contents


Rating details

7 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 43% (3)
4 14% (1)
3 14% (1)
2 14% (1)
1 14% (1)
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