Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Interpersonal Curiosity

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1644



Interpersonal curiosity is the desire for new information about people, including details about others’ life experiences, their public and private activities, and also their internalized thoughts, feelings, and motives. Interpersonal curiosity can motivate both overt and covert information-seeking behaviors, such as asking people questions directly or surreptitiously eavesdropping on them, respectively. Three dimensions of interpersonal curiosity have been identified: Curiosity about Emotions (CE), reflected in a desire to learn people’s feelings; a willingness to engage in Spying and Prying (SP) in order to learn about people’s interests and life experiences; and Snooping (Sn), which involves investigating people’s personal surroundings or going through their belongings. Once activated, the degree to which interpersonal curiosity is experienced and expressed is theorized to vary due to individual differences in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentUniversity of South FloridaSaint PetersburgUSA