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J Exp Psychol Appl. 2016 Sep;22(3):319-330. doi: 10.1037/xap0000089.

The effects of curiosity-evoking events on activity enjoyment.

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Department of Marketing, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California.


Whereas prior literature has studied the positive effects of curiosity-evoking events that are integral to focal activities, we explore whether and how a curiosity-evoking event that is incidental to a focal activity induces negative outcomes for enjoyment. Four experiments and 1 field study demonstrate that curiosity about an event that is incidental to an activity in which individuals are engaged, significantly affects enjoyment of a concurrent activity. The reason why is that curiosity diverts attention away from the concurrent activity and focuses attention on the curiosity-evoking event. Thus, curiosity regarding an incidental event decreases enjoyment of a positive focal activity but increases enjoyment of a negative focal activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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