In this study, the authors tried various methods to measure and conceptualize curiosity. A sample of 369 education students (103 men, 266 women) who were attending universities on the East Coast of the United States completed 5 paper-and-pencil curiosity measures in 1 of their classes. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the authors found that the data best fit a 3-factor curiosity model consisting of cognitive curiosity, physical thrill seeking, and social thrill seeking. These findings supported the development of new instruments that specifically measured those 3 curiosity types, new empirical research predicting meaningful curiosity-related outcomes, and subsequent theory building concerning how and why curiosity is a fundamental part of optimal human functioning.
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