Situational Interest: A Review of the Literature and Directions for Future Research

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This paper reviews theoretical and empirical research on situational interest. A distinction is made between situational and personal interest. The former is spontaneous and context-specific, whereas the latter is enduring and context-general. We summarize historical perspectives and recent empirical findings on situational interest. Five emergent themes are identified that focus on relationships among situational interest, information processing, and affective engagement. We also discuss important topics for future research.

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