Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Fall 2016

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Matt Jones

Abstract

Approximately 220 college-aged participants were given a novel behavioral measure of curiosity (Johnson-White Scale) in order to obtain participants’ total epistemic curiosity scores, diversive curiosity scores, and specific curiosity scores. The task consists of a white computer screen with 25 icons ranging from topics of culinary arts (as represented by an up-scale plate of food) to rock climbing to video games. There are a total of 175 facts available for discovery through the clicking of the icons. After eight minutes to interact with the Johnson-White Scale (JWS), participants receive a personal survey of factors including but not limited to: ACT score, political interest, political affiliation, and religiousness. Participants then took two separate self-report measures of curiosity, the Novelty Experiencing Scale (Pearson, 1970) and the Melbourne Curiosity Inventory Trait-Form (Naylor, 1981) in order to understand whether the Johnson-White Scale yields a valid measure of curiosity. Various personal factors were gathered to illuminate whether curiosity and subtypes of curiosity are predictive of certain life outcomes such as academic success and political and religious involvement. Potential for the validity of the Johnson-White Scale is present as portrayed by correlations between the self-report measures’ scores and the interactive behavioral measure’s scores, as they tended to correlate significantly well in most facets and sub-facets of curiosity. Furthermore, levels of curiosity may be predictive of certain personal factors, especially academic performance.

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