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Curiosity and motivation toward visual information
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Curiosity is thought to be an intrinsically motivated driving force for seeking information. Thus, the opportunity for an information gain (IG) should instil curiosity in humans and result in information gathering actions. To investigate if, and how, information acts as an intrinsic reward, a search task was set in a context of blurred background images which could be revealed by iterative clicking. The search task was designed such that it prevented efficient IG about the underlying images. Participants therefore had to trade between clicking regions with high search target probability or high expected image content information. Image content IG was established from “information-maps” based on participants exploration with the intention of understanding (1) the main theme of the image and (2) how interesting the image might appear to others. Note that IG is in this thesis not identical with the information theoretic concept of information gain, the quantities are however probably related. It was hypothesised that participants would be distracted by visually informative regions and that images independently rated as more interesting would yield higher image based IG. It was also hypothesised that image based IG would increase as a function of time. Results show that participants sometimes explored images driven by curiosity, and that there was considerable individual variation in which images participants were curious about. Independent interest ratings did not account for image based IG. The level of IG increased over trials, interestingly without affecting participants’ performance on the visual search task designed to prevent IG. Results support that IG is rewarding as participants learned to optimize IG over trials without compromising performance on the extrinsically motivated search; managing to both keep the cake and eat it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 22
Keywords [en]
curiosity, exploratory behavior, interest, motivation, reward, visual search
Keywords [sv]
nyfikenhet, utforskande beteende, intresse, motivation, belöning, visuell sökning
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-145105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-145105DiVA, id: diva2:1184411
Subject / course
Examensarbete i psykologi
Educational program
Study Programme for University Diploma in Psychology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-02-27 Created: 2018-02-21 Last updated: 2018-02-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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