The tip-of-the-tongue (TOT) state is generally described as the feeling that one knows a target word and recall of this word is imminent, although the word is currently unrecallable. Research suggests participants’ beliefs about their own knowledge affect the level and type of curiosity experienced while in a TOT state. This study examined the interaction between demand characteristics and specific types of curiosity experienced while in a TOT state. Demand characteristics were expected to affect the type of curiosity experienced, with participants in the high-demand group experiencing more negative forms of curiosity and the low-demand group experiencing more positive forms of curiosity. Participants in each demand condition completed a trivia task designed to elicit TOT states, a personality questionnaire, and a multiple-choice recognition task for the same trivia items from the first task. Overall, the low demand group experienced higher levels of curiosity for most feeling-of-knowing states and a more positive form of curiosity then the high demand group. Results are partially consistent with the approach-gradient theory of curiosity, but also indicate that demand characteristics may differentially affect the two types of curiosity examined.
Voskuilen, Chelsea, "Curiosity, Demand Characteristics, and the Tip-of-the-Tongue State" (2010). Honors Projects. Paper 24.
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