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ERIC Number: ED437404
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1999-Apr
Pages: 46
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Schema Modification and Enhancement as Predictors of Interest: A Test of the Knowledge-schema Theory of Cognitive Interest.
Yarlas, Aaron S.
A general cognitive theory of interest is offered to allow for predicting the degree to which any informational environment is perceived as interesting. The theory is assessed in a study that tested predictions of a knowledge-schema theory of cognitive interest. Three classes of hypotheses regarding the cognitive causes of interest are identified (complexity, novelty, and unexpectedness hypotheses). A domain-and-modality-general theory, referred to as the knowledge-schema theory of cognitive interest (KST), captures the underlying regularities of these specific hypotheses by positing learning via schematic enhancement and schematic modification as causes of interest. The predictions of the KST were tested with 63 undergraduates. It was expected that those who learned more from a target passage, as measured by improvement on a memory test, would rate the passage as more interesting than those who learned less. Participants demonstrated greater learning for concepts in the target passage that were more related to their knowledge-schema than for concepts less related to this schema. Participants also generally judged the paragraphs of the target passage that had led to greater schema enhancement as more interesting than the paragraphs that induced less schema enhancement. In addition, the amount of learning induced by the target passage did predict the degree to which a participant judged the passage as interesting. Findings provide support for the KST regarding the causes of cognitive interest. Three appendixes contain sample test questions for domain knowledge and target passages. (Contains 54 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A