The Nature and Power of Interests


“Despite their significance to both individuals and organizations, interests are often misunderstood, and their predictive power is often overlooked. In this article, we discuss the nature of interests, describe several key features of interests, and, contrary to the received knowledge of many, explain how interests can be used to predict career and educational
choice, performance, and success. Finally, we discuss the continuity of interests across the life span and explain how evidence of stability supports conceptualizations of interests as being distinct dispositions rather than simply extensions or workplace instantiations of basic personality traits.”


Rounds, J., & Su, R. (2014). The Nature and Power of Interests. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Museums can teach, but they can also inspire, which we’ve discussed with partners in the project. This paper suggests that many interests are long lasting and related to personality, rather than fleeting. Looking at how interests form seems paramount to understanding how to spark a new one. The paper says young adults tend to have more rapidly changing interests than adults, so it could be beneficial to focus more on younger audiences in museum interaction design as they are more likely to develop a new interest in the subject. However the converse could also be true, as adult interests are more stable you may be more likely to cause a long lasting interest, if less likely to spark interest overall. Definitely an interesting variable to consider.