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Abstract

The curiosity of 120 elementary school children, aged five through thirteen years, was assessed by three measures: (1) the amount of coordinated sensory-motor activity directed toward designated objects in a waiting room environment during a 10-minute waiting period, (2) the number of unsolicited questions asked within the same time period and environment, and (3) teacher ratings, where classroom teachers estimated children's curiosity based on their normal classroom behavior.

In a three-way analysis of variance, the amount of curiosity expressed through motor activity was found significantly related to groups based on racial-ethnic origins, but not to groups based on age or sex.

The amount of curiosity expressed through motor activity was negatively correlated with teacher ratings in one class but not significantly correlated in three other classes. Children who asked most questions were rated highest in curiosity by their teachers, but exhibited least curiosity through motor activity in the waiting room.