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Exploring the effect of emotionally induced arousal on curiosity
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Curiosity can be defined as a drive to engage in exploratory behaviors and has been associated with an increased state of arousal (Berlyne, 1954). Exploratory behaviors, such as feedback requests, are associated with an information gain and the reduction of uncertainty. Although previous research has demonstrated the effects of emotions on the value of information gain (Marvin & Shohamy, 2016), and that the manipulation of arousal affected confidence (Allen et al., 2016) suggesting uncertainty can be affected independent of task difficulty, no previous study independently manipulated arousal to test its effect on curiosity. Given the effects of curiosity on motivation and learning, understanding how arousal influence curiosity would be beneficial for applications in fields such as education. In the present study, we hypothesized that emotionally-induced arousal has an impact on curiosity by influencing uncertainty and the value of information gain. A sample of 17 students were presented with arousing supraliminal emotional cues prior to rating confidence about their answers to trivia questions and deciding on feedback choices. Feedback requests were associated with a time delay, in a way that participants were required to trade off time for information. Results showed that uncertainty levels did not reliably predict feedback choices. Further analyses failed to demonstrate an effect of arousal on feedback choices. Finally, the pupillary response to events suggested that arousal levels did not differ significantly across conditions. Results can be due to the small sample or the test sensitivity. Possible improvements to the experimental paradigm are discussed, and directions for future research are considered.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Curiosity, arousal, Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces, uncertainty, feedback
Keywords [sv]
Nyfikenhet, upphetsning, Karolinska Directed Emotional Faces, osäkerhet, feedback
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-144317OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-144317DiVA, id: diva2:1179110
Educational program
Master's Programme in Cognitive Science
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-05 Created: 2018-01-31 Last updated: 2018-02-05Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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