Curiosity and student learning in general education in Hong Kong

Shengquan YE*, Ting Kin NG, Jun WANG, Tsz Kei LEE

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As an intrinsic motivation to explore new experience and knowledge, curiosity plays an essential role in learning and development. However, in Asian cultures, where tradition and authority are highly respected, people may not be encouraged to develop and utilize their curiosity, even in a learning setting where curiosity is highly valued (e.g., general education). This longitudinal study examined how curiosity affected learning outcomes in general education and how the learning outcomes, in turn, contributed to subsequent development of curiosity among a group of university students in Hong Kong. Two hundred and forty-two participants (59 males and 183 females) responded to the questionnaires at the beginning of Semesters 1 and 2. Learning outcomes were assessed by both objective and subjective measures (i.e., average grade and self-evaluation). Results show that curiosity at the beginning of Semester 1 signifi cantly predicted self-evaluated learning outcomes in Semester 1, which further contributed signifi cantly to curiosity in Semester 2, even when the curiosity in Semester 1 was controlled. By contrast, no signifi cant association was found for the objective measure of learning outcome with curiosity in Semesters 1 and 2. Implications for learning and assessment in general education are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Asian Learners
Subtitle of host publicationA Festschrift in Honor of David Watkins
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789812875761
ISBN (Print)9789812875754
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Curiosity
  • General education
  • Student learning


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