The Effects of Curiosity-Evoking Events on Activity Enjoyment

43 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2016  

Elif Isikman

Independent

Deborah J. MacInnis

University of Southern California - Marketing Department

Gülden Ülkümen

University of Southern California

Lisa A. Cavanaugh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Date Written: April 27, 2016

Abstract

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 one 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.

Keywords: curiosity, activity enjoyment, distraction, attention, interest

Suggested Citation

Isikman, Elif and MacInnis, Deborah J. and Ülkümen, Gülden and Cavanaugh, Lisa A., The Effects of Curiosity-Evoking Events on Activity Enjoyment (April 27, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2771144 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2771144

Elif Isikman

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

Deborah J. MacInnis (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marketing Department ( email )

Hoffman Hall 701
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1427
United States

Gulden Ulkumen

University of Southern California ( email )

701 Exposition Boulevard
Hoffman Hall 516
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
(213) 740-3852 (Phone)
(213) 740-7828 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://mymarshall.usc.edu/portal/subapps/digitalmeasures/faculty.jsp?surveyId=890407

Lisa A. Cavanaugh

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

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