The factor structure of curiosity measures: Breadth and depth of interest curiosity styles

Authors

  • Mary D. Ainley

    Corresponding author
    1. University of Melbourne
      Department of Psychology, Melbourne C.A.E., Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia
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Department of Psychology, Melbourne C.A.E., Swanston Street, Carlton, Victoria, 3053, Australia

Abstract

A wide range of assessment forms has been used for research on curiosity. The structure and content of these assessment forms together with the theoretical viewpoint assumed in scale construction were examined to indicate the nature of the construct of curiosity underpinning such research. It was proposed that a two-factor construct of curiosity subsuming two styles—breadth of interest and depth of interest—best describes the behaviour being measured. Five curiosity scales containing 12 subscales were administered to 227 college students. The scores were factored using principal factoring with iteration and then rotated to a varimax solution. Rotation of two factors separated the scales into two groupings matching the predicted structure. Rotation of a third factor did not change the basic pattern of relationships among the scales. The results did not indicate a general factor of curiosity but rather supported the validity of the proposed two-factor construct of curiosity.

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