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Does prior knowledge affect a rise or decline in curiosity?: A study on curiosity from an information theoretic perspective
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Kognitionsvetenskap. (Kognitionsvetenskap)
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 180 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

To study whether the curiosity can decline or not for a certain task could help us understand how to keep students both interested and engaged in all the different subjects that the education system has to offer. This study aimed to first find a way to measure curiosity, to then see if it changes over time, and if it shows to be different between low performing people and high performing people. 20 people participated at two different sessions. At the first session uncertainty was measured in form of Shannon’s entropy. At the second session participants got to choose between more or less informative options, and then gain feedback depending on the choice. The entropy proved to be a valid predictor for information choice and was used as curiosity measurement in form of a time cost by expected information gain. Patterns in curiosity change over time was found for the sample, low performing participants and high performing participants, where the sample and high performing people showed a significant effect of curiosity decline.

Abstract [sv]

Att studera huruvida nyfikenhet kan avtaga eller ej för en särskild uppgift kan hjälpa oss förstå hur man kan hålla studenter både intresserade och engagerade i de olika ämnena som utbildningssystemet erbjuder. Den här studien siktade på att först finna ett sätt at mäta nyfikenhet, för att sedan se om förändras över tid, samt om det är någon skillnad för låg och högpresterande personer. 20 studenter deltog vid två separata tillfällen. Vid första tillfället mättes osäkerhet i form av Shannon’s entropi. Vid det andra tillfället fick deltagarna välja mellan mer eller mindre informativa val, och få feedback utifrån detta. Entropin visade sig kunna förutsäga om deltagarna valde feedback, och användes därför som mått på nyfikenhet i form av tidskostnad per förväntad informationsvinst. Mönster för nyfikenhetsförändring över tid kunde ses hos populationen, de lågpresterande samt högpresterande deltagarna, där både urvalsgruppen samt de högpresterande deltagarna visade en signifikant effekt av avtagande nyfikenhet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 19 p.
Keyword [en]
prior knowledge, curiosity, time series data
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Learning Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105867OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-105867DiVA: diva2:834535
Educational program
Programme in Cognitive Science
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-06-30 Last updated: 2015-11-13Bibliographically approved

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