The Promotion and Development of Interest: The Importance of Perceived Values

  • Chris S. HullemanEmail author
  • Dustin B. Thoman
  • Anna-Lena Dicke
  • Judith M. Harackiewicz


It is tempting to consider the development of interest as an intra-individual process. That is, whether a person becomes interested in a topic can be attributed mostly to individual differences in temperament and personality characteristics. However, motivation in general, and interest development in particular, is also a social phenomenon that may be influenced by one’s interactions with people while engaging in the activity of interest. In this chapter, we first outline the role of perceived value in the development of interest. Second, we review a program of research designed to enhance interest by facilitating perceptions of value for an activity. Third, we discuss how other people in our lives both directly and indirectly influence value and, as a result, the development of interest. Although the majority of the extant research literature is focused on direct interventions to influence value, and thereby interest, we outline several indirect pathways through which the social context can also contribute to an individual’s perception of value. We encourage researchers to explore the direct and indirect influences of the social context on value through both observational and experimental studies so that we can discover additional mechanisms that help explain how interest develops.


Interest development Value Social influence Social context Interventions Motivation 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chris S. Hulleman
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dustin B. Thoman
    • 2
  • Anna-Lena Dicke
    • 3
  • Judith M. Harackiewicz
    • 4
  1. 1.University of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA
  2. 2.San Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WisconsinMadisonUSA

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