Measuring exploratory behavior in young children: A factor-analytic study

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A battery of 4 tasks designed to measure curiosity and exploratory behavior (preference for unknown, curiosity drawer box, puzzle box, and preference for complexity) was administered to 113 preschool boys and girls and 109 1st- and 2nd-grade girls. No sex differences were found for the preschoolers on any of the 13 variables from the tasks. Age differences, however, were evident; some indicated higher levels of exploration by the older Ss, and others indicated higher levels of exploration by the younger Ss. Despite the age differences, separate factor analyses for preschool boys, preschool girls, and school-aged girls resulted in similar factor structures indicative of both mode of exploration (verbal, tactile) and style of exploration (depth, breadth) factors for all groups. Results are compared and contrasted to findings from other factor analytic studies of curiosity. (12 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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