Situational Interest: A Proposal to Enhance Conceptual Clarity

  • Maximilian KnoglerEmail author


The Four-Phase Model of Interest Development is currently the most frequently used theoretical underpinning of research on interest. Under this model, situational interest can designate two very different phenomena: state interest and less-developed interest. While state interest is an experience of interest in the moment, less-developed interest describes individuals who are in the initial phases of a developing interest. This chapter shows that researchers have implicitly embraced these different meanings, which have led to two different lines of research. To foster conceptual clarity, the chapter promotes using “state interest” and “less-developed interest” as standard terminology instead of “situational interest.” This seems to be the more parsimonious and less ambiguous option.


Situational interest State interest Less-developed interest Well-developed interest Four-Phase Model of Interest Development Person-Object Theory of Interest 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of Munich, TUM School of EducationMunichGermany

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