Epistemic Curiosity (EC): An innate motive that underlies thinking, reasoning, inquisitiveness, seeking out new knowledge, and solving intellectual problems. EC reflects individual differences in approaching and using information in order to either…
Stimulate affectively positive states of intellectual interest (I-type)
Relieve negative affective states of feeling deprived of
These two expressions of intellectual curiosity point to different underlying mechanisms involved in their activation, in the associated experiences, and in the pleasure of satiation.
The I/D EC Distinction– related but distinct emotional-motivational aspects of trait curiosity that guide self-directed learning in different ways…
The EC traits are assessed by two, brief 5-item self-report scales (Alpha >.80), with excellent simple structure and model fit in exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, respectively.
The I/D EC Model has been validated in large samples in America, Germany, China, Argentina, and Italy (language translations) suggesting cross-cultural stability of the model.
The I/D EC model has also been found valid for parent-reports of young children (aged 3-7) and for self-reports of adolescents and teens across cultures, further suggesting these expressions of EC are universal.
Diagram of the I/D EC Model (from Litman, 2008)
I- and D-type EC are strongly related to each other, but each has different correlates and predicts different self-directed learning outcomes.