Interest is just emerging as a critical bridge between cognitive and affective issues in both learning and development. This developing "interest" in interest appears to be linked to an increasing concern for studying the individual in context, examining affective variables as opposed to purely structural features of text, analyzing the interrelationship of cognitive and social development, understanding practical applications of theories of motivation, and recognizing the importance of developmental psychology for the study of learning. This book addresses both how individual interest and interest inherent in stimuli (books, text, toys, etc.) across subjects affect cognitive performance.
While the book's particular emphasis is on theory-driven research, each of the contributing authors offers a unique perspective on understanding interest and its effects on learning and development. As such, each has contributed a chapter in which particular questions in interest research are described and linked to a clearly stated theoretical perspective and recent findings. Relevant material from the broader literatures of psychology and education are analyzed in the context of these discussions. In addition, the introductory and concluding chapters build on the contributions to the volume by providing the basis of a coherent view of interest across genres such as stories and expository text, and domains as varied as play, reading, and mathematics.