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The Infant Curiosity Questionnaire: Progress and next steps

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Posterpeer-review

Publication date26/08/2022
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event7th Lancaster International Conference on Infant and Early Child Development -
Duration: 24/08/202226/08/2022
Conference number: 7


Conference7th Lancaster International Conference on Infant and Early Child Development
Abbreviated titleLCICD
Internet address


Curiosity is a concept which remains elusive with open questions especially regarding its emergence and mechanisms in infancy. While there are several self-report measures for adult and some for child-curiosity relating to specific theoretical accounts, there has not been any measure developed yet for infants. Here, we present a newly developed caregiver-report questionnaire measuring infants’ general curiosity across a target age range of 5 to 24 months. Rather than constraining behavioural expressions of curiosity to a specific theoretical framework, we instead adopt a broad definition of infant curiosity as a keen desire or tendency to actively explore one’s immediate surroundings. We developed 36 items reflecting how infants can actively explore and interact with their environment from birth onwards. Caregivers are asked to evaluate how well each item reflects their child’s typical behaviour on a Likert-scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) with an option of ‘not applicable (NA)’ for behaviours the child does not display (perhaps because they are too young). A sample of N=197 (Mage = 13.63, range: 4.9-14.8, 50.8% female) UK caregiver responses indicates great internal consistency (Cronbach’s α to .90) and test-retest reliability after 7-14 days (ICC = .89, p < .001, N = 31, Mage = 12.57, range: 5.5-24.21, 58% female). Preliminary results are promising in that the measure captures individual differences in infants’ trait curiosity. Reliability analyses on the target sample size of N=360 will investigate the measure’s applicability and meaningfulness. Once, the itemset is deemed reliable we will investigate its validity by testing whether it is distinct from measures of temperament and whether it can explain variance in a behavioural exploration task. If successful, this measure will inform our understanding of infant curiosity, its development, expression, and potential stability from a very early age.