Curiosity and exploration


A conceptual overview and structural modeling
Byman, Reijo
952-5401-04-9; 1458-1094
Finnish Educational Research Association / Suomen kasvatustieteellinen seura
Research in educational sciences / Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia (5)

Curiosity is an educationally interesting concept. One of the ideal motivational teaching strategies has been to bring students to explore, discover and learn in a self-directed manner. However, there is no consensus on what curiosity is. Moreover, some researchers have referred to this concept by the terms intrinsic motivation and sensation seeking. The main purpose of the present study was to clarify the concept of curiosity, starting at theoretical level.

Using conceptual analysis and the results of previous studies, it was possible to construct nine alternative conceptual models of curiosity. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was used to investigate the statistical fit of the nine models. Theoretically oriented readers will benefit from a comprehensive review of the scientific study of curiosity and exploration. Methodologically, the present study provides a useful application that demonstrates the flexibility of CFA for the purpose of construct validation.

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