Presentation on theme: "Measuring Epistemic Curiosity in Young Children"— Presentation transcript:
1 Measuring Epistemic Curiosity in Young Children Jessica Taylor Piotrowski1Jordan Litman2Patti Valkenburg11 The Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam2 Department of Psychology, University of South Florida22 July 2013ISSID 2013 ConferenceCcaM is part of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoR
2 The Problem I and D-type EC manifests itself in early childhood … Yet, we currently have no way to measure these early expressions.Problems with existing measurements for I and D-type EC:Developed exclusively for adultsContent of items inappropriateSelf-report nature inappropriateInability to measure = little information about EC in early childhoodIndividual differences among adults in I- and D-type EC are assessed using the I/D scalesOne major limitation of the existing I/D scales is that they were designed to measure individual differences in the experience and expression of EC exclusively in adults. The content of the items as well as the self-report nature of the scales makes them inappropriate for assessing EC in young childrenAdult items reflect EC expressions that children are likely to not have experienced (kept up late at night thinking about problems…)Existing scales are self-report, whereas these scales must be parent reportExisting scales do not focus on behavioral expressions that are reflective of early forms of intellectual explorationConsequently, little is known about the levels of these emotional-motivational tendencies earlier in the life span, as presently there is no clear way to reliably and validly track their development
3 Epistemic Curiositythe desire to obtain new knowledge expected to stimulate positive feelings of intellectual interest (I-type) and the desire to reduce undesirable conditions of uncertainty associated with feeling deprived of information (D-type)I-type is associated with: novelty seeking behavior, the pleasurable anticipation of learning something entirely new, and the intrinsic joy of new discoveriesI type motivates an individual to choose between a diverse selection of novel sources of intellectual stimulationD-type is associated with: uncomfortable feelings of uncertainty or frustration due to having an incomplete understanding of something or lacking the solution to a complex problemD type motivates persistent and detailed examination aimed at finding answers to resolve specific unknownsI and D type EC are thought to be relatively stable personality traits.I-TypeD-Type
4 Study AimDevelop and validate parent-report scales of I- and D-type EC in Young Children (I/D-YC).
5 Item Development for I/D-YC Literature review on early expressions of intellectual explorationAdapt content of existing I- and D- type scales when possibleDevelop new items for potential inclusion
6 Item Development for I/D-YC I-Type ECalternating between novel sources of stimulationdelight in encountering new things or peoplepreference for novelty over making a detailed examination of familiar thingsE.g., My child has fun learning about new topics or subjects.D-Type ECfocused and sustained attention to and detailed inspection of sources of intellectual stimulation (e.g., toys)being bothered when something is detected as missingE.g., When presented with a tough problem, my child focuses all of his/her attention on how to solve it.Based on literature and EC research, we expect that early forms of EC will consist of:
7 Validation for I/D-YC Validation Hypotheses I-Type D-Type Sensation SeekingPositiveNo Relationship or Weak +ShynessNegativeInhibitory ControlNo RelationshipHyperactivity-InattentionSS = seeking of varied, novel, and complex sensations and experiencesShyness = feelings of distress and withdrawal in the presence of other people, corresponds to lower levels of extraversion and novelty seeking behaviorInhibitory Control = suppress an explicit or implicit inappropriate response, deficits in IC corresponds w/ ADHDHyperactivity-Inattention = the inability to focus deliberate, conscious attention when completing a task
8 Method Study Design Sample Measures Cross-sectional survey Parents with children aged 3-8 (n= 316; M = 5.30 years)MeasuresI/D-YC items (n = 16)Sensation SeekingShynessInhibitory ControlHyperactivity-InattentionI/D-YC ItemsInitially developed 20 items.Items were evaluated by colleagues with knowledge of EC, child development, and parent report to ensure that items were theoretically consistent, developmentally appropriate, and reflected observable behaviors.Items that were unclear were dropped.Resulted in 16 items
9 Analytic Approach Scale Development: Confirmatory Factor Analysis Validation:Correlations and Partial CorrelationsFocus on partial correlations results here
10 Scale Results (I/D-YC) As with the existing self-report measure of I- and D-type EC (Litman, 2008), the two I/D-YC factors were highly correlated (r = .84); all factor loadings were strong and significant, ranging from .60 to .80I-Type YC scale α = .85; D-Type YC scale α = .80χ2 (DF = 33, N = 316) = 82.75, p < .001, CFI = .96, RMSEA = .07, ECVI = .40
11 I-Type Items I-Type Items My child has fun learning about new topics or subjects.My child is attracted to new things in his/her environment.My child enjoys talking about topics that are new to him /her.My child shows visible enjoyment when discovering something new.When my child is learning something new, he/she asks many questions about it.In keeping with the data analytic procedures of previous research (Litman, 2008), and to facilitate comparability between previous research and the findings of the present study, confirmatory factor analyses using maximum likelihood estimation were used to develop the I/D-YC scales.Two items removed due to low item-test correlationsAfter CFA – examined factor loading, residuals, and modification indices. Four additional items removed.Result = 10 item, 2-factor model with acceptable fitResponse Options: (1) almost never, (2) sometimes, (3) often, (4) almost always.
12 D-Type Items D-Type Items When presented with a tough problem, my child focuses all his/her attention on how to solve it.My child devotes considerable effort to trying to figure out things that are confusing or unclear.My child is bothered when he/she does not understand something, and tries hard to make sense of it.My child will work for a long time to solve a problem because he/she wants to know the answer.My child carefully examines things by turning them around or looking at them from all sides.In keeping with the data analytic procedures of previous research (Litman, 2008), and to facilitate comparability between previous research and the findings of the present study, confirmatory factor analyses using maximum likelihood estimation were used to develop the I/D-YC scales.Two items removed due to low item-test correlationsAfter CFA – examined factor loading, residusals, and modification indices. Four additional items removed.Result = 10 item, 2-factor model with acceptable fitResponse Options: (1) almost never, (2) sometimes, (3) often, (4) almost always.
13 Validation Results Partial Correlations Reveal: I-TypeD-TypeSensation SeekingNo RelationshipWeak Positive (.13)*ShynessNegative (-.30)*Weak Positive (.10)*Inhibitory ControlNo Relationship*Negative (-.20)*Hyperactivity-InattentionNegative (-.21)*Only one relationship was not in line w/ expectations --- sensation seeking and I-type EC. We think this has do to the w/ the items used on the parent report scale for children …While measures of sensation seeking that are typically used with adults (e.g., Zuckerman, 2006) include many items that describe a preference for novel or adventurous experiences across a range of intensity, the parent-report version used here focused mainly upon thrilling and potentially frightening experiences (e.g., going fast on a bicycle; enjoying scary things like spiders and monsters). An attraction to the emotional thrills stimulated by these kinds of sensory-perceptual experiences, and the pleasure associated with their subsequent reduction, may share some developmental overlap in early childhood with experiences of intellectual tension in the face of uncertainty and the rewarding reduction of that tension when new knowledge is gathered, which are processes associated with D-type curiosity*in line with expectations
14 DiscussionDevelopment of I/D-YC addresses important gap in literature.CFA resulted in a 10-item I/D-YC measure with acceptable psychometric properties.Future research:Replication with different sampleFurther evaluate reliability and validity (e.g., test-retest)Useful tool for researchers interested in young children’s intellectual exploration.Future research- We are currently conducting a longitudinal study of the development of I/D YC in young children – will allow us to further assess the reliability and predictive validity of this measure
15 Jessica Taylor Piotrowski, Ph.D. Thank YouQuestions are welcomedJessica Taylor Piotrowski, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam
16 Funding Acknowledgement The research reported in this presentation is supported by a grant to the third author from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/ ) / ERC grant agreement no [AdG ENTCHILD].