One Ingredient in the Mix: Interest and Psychological Well-Being

  • Mary Ainley
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 51)


In this chapter, it is proposed that interest is an essential ingredient in the dynamic system of experience that contributes to psychological well-being at all life stages. The varying associations between interest and related constructs of curiosity and enjoyment and ways that interest functions to regulate and guide behaviour are explored. Research evidence sampling a range of perspectives is presented to explore how interest combines with other processes to build schemas that promote positive development and psychological well-being. The contribution of interest to psychological well-being arises from its character as motivating affective experience and from its functional significance for the onset and maintenance of information seeking, knowledge and actions. From the earliest processing of experience in infancy through to the activities, thoughts and feelings that occupy the elderly, when we examine the psychological make-up of productive growth-promoting schemas, interest is one of the key ingredients in the mix.


Life Satisfaction Positive Affect Positive Emotion Intrinsic Motivation Exploratory Behaviour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological SciencesUniversity of MelbourneVictoriaAustralia

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