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Measuring Epistemic Curiosity in Young Children Jessica Taylor Piotrowski 1 Jordan Litman 2 Patti Valkenburg 1 1 The Amsterdam School of Communication.

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Presentation on theme: "Measuring Epistemic Curiosity in Young Children Jessica Taylor Piotrowski 1 Jordan Litman 2 Patti Valkenburg 1 1 The Amsterdam School of Communication."— Presentation transcript:

1 Measuring Epistemic Curiosity in Young Children Jessica Taylor Piotrowski 1 Jordan Litman 2 Patti Valkenburg 1 1 The Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam 2 Department of Psychology, University of South Florida 22 July 2013 ISSID 2013 Conference CcaM 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 adults –Content of items inappropriate –Self-report nature inappropriate Inability to measure = little information about EC in early childhood

3 Epistemic Curiosity the 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-TypeD-Type

4 Develop and validate parent-report scales of I- and D-type EC in Young Children (I/D-YC). Study Aim

5 Item Development for I/D-YC 1.Literature review on early expressions of intellectual exploration 2.Adapt content of existing I- and D- type scales when possible 3.Develop new items for potential inclusion

6 Item Development for I/D-YC I-Type EC alternating between novel sources of stimulation delight in encountering new things or people preference for novelty over making a detailed examination of familiar things E.g., My child has fun learning about new topics or subjects. D-Type EC focused and sustained attention to and detailed inspection of sources of intellectual stimulation (e.g., toys) being bothered when something is detected as missing E.g., When presented with a tough problem, my child focuses all of his/her attention on how to solve it.

7 Validation for I/D-YC I-TypeD-Type Sensation SeekingPositiveNo Relationship or Weak + ShynessNegativeNo Relationship or Weak + Inhibitory ControlNo RelationshipNegative Hyperactivity-InattentionNo RelationshipNegative Validation Hypotheses

8 Study Design –Cross-sectional survey Sample –Parents with children aged 3-8 (n= 316; M = 5.30 years) Measures –I/D-YC items (n = 16) –Sensation Seeking –Shyness –Inhibitory Control –Hyperactivity-Inattention Method

9 Analytic Approach Scale Development: Confirmatory Factor Analysis Validation: Correlations and Partial Correlations

10 Scale Results (I/D-YC) I-Type YC scale α =.85; D-Type YC scale α =.80 χ 2 (DF = 33, N = 316) = 82.75, p <.001, CFI =.96, RMSEA =.07, ECVI =.40

11 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. Response Options: (1) almost never, (2) sometimes, (3) often, (4) almost always.

12 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. Response Options: (1) almost never, (2) sometimes, (3) often, (4) almost always.

13 Validation Results Partial Correlations Reveal: I-TypeD-Type Sensation SeekingNo RelationshipWeak Positive (.13)* ShynessNegative (-.30)*Weak Positive (.10)* Inhibitory ControlNo Relationship*Negative (-.20)* Hyperactivity-InattentionNo Relationship*Negative (-.21)* *in line with expectations

14 Development 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 sample –Further evaluate reliability and validity (e.g., test-retest) Useful tool for researchers interested in young children’s intellectual exploration. Discussion

15 Thank You Jessica 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].


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