How is interest different from money?

11th February 2019 : 12:45 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Quantitative Methods Hub

Speaker: Kou Murayama, University of Reading

Location: Seminar Room D, Department of Education

Convener: Lars-Erik Malmberg

A part of the Quantitative Methods Hub Seminar Programme HT 2019

The recent growing body of neuroimaging studies has suggested that curiosity is related to the reward network in the brain (e.g., the striatum), which is commonly activated by extrinsic incentives. These findings have led neuroscience researchers to claim that interest is no different from the motivation driven by extrinsic incentives. On the other hand, there is a long-lasting tradition in psychology which denotes that curiosity is something special, and completely independent of, or even in competition with, motivation driven by extrinsic incentives. The objective of the talk is to provide a framework (called “curiosity as a complementary reward for extrinsic incentives”) that accommodates both similarities and dissimilarities between curiosity and extrinsic incentives. The basic idea is that curiosity (or interest) can be described as a reward-learning model of knowledge acquisition, but that this knowledge acquisition process has some unique properties that do not exist in the reward learning with extrinsic rewards. I will provide some empirical evidence to support the idea.

About the Department of Education

In 2019, the University of Oxford’s Department of Education celebrates the 100th year since the passing of a statute creating what was known in 1919 as the University Department for the Training of Teachers. To celebrate our centenary a year-long series of activities will be delivered to address some of the department’s top initiatives for 2019, answer some of the big questions facing education today and to reveal the advancements the department has made to the study of and research in the field of education. Join us as we mark our 100th year and discover more about our anniversary here.

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