Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI)


In an effort to expand research on curiosity, the authors elaborate on a theoretical model that informs research on the design of a new measure and the nomological network of curiosity. Curiosity was conceptualized as a positive emotional-motivational system associated with the recognition, pursuit, and self-regulation of novelty and challenge. The authors posit that curiosity is an important motivational component (but not the only one) that links cues reflecting novelty and challenge (internal or external) with growth opportunities. The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI) comprising of two dimensions: exploration (appetitive strivings for novelty and challenge) and absorption (full engagement in specific activities).


The CEI has good psychometric properties, is relatively unaffected by socially desirable responding, is relatively independent from positive affect, and has a nomological network consistent with our theoretical framework. the CEI and its subscales appear to be internally consistent and temporally stable, and self-appraisals of curiosity are consistent with observer reports.

Author of Tool:

Kashdan, T.B., Rose, P., & Fincham, F.D.

Key references:

Kashdan, T.B., Rose, P., & Fincham, F.D. (2004). Curiosity and exploration: Facilitating positive subjective experiences and personal growth opportunities. Journal of Personality Assessment, 82, 291-305.

Kashdan, T. B., Barrios, V., Forsyth, J. P., & Steger, M. F. (in press). Experiential avoidance as a generalized psychological vulnerability: Comparisons with coping and emotion regulation strategies. Behaviour Research and Therapy.

Primary use / Purpose:

A measure of curiosity, defined as a “disposition to inquire, investigate, or seek after knowledge; a desire to gratify the mind with new information or objects of interest; inquisitiveness.”

Curiosity and Exploration Inventory (CEI)

Using the scale shown below, please respond to each of the following statements according to how you would usually describe yourself. There are no right or wrong answers.

1                   2                   3               4                 5                6                 7

Strongly Disagree                  Neither Agreenor Disagree             Strongly Agree


  1.   I would describe myself as someone who actively seeks as much information as I can in a new situation.
  2.   When I am participating in an activity, I tend to get so involved that I lose track of time.
  3.   I frequently find myself looking for new opportunities to grow as a person (e.g., information, people, resources).
  4.  I am not the type of person who probes deeply into new situations or things.
  5.  When I am actively interested in something, it takes a great deal to interrupt me.
  6.  My friends would describe me as someone who is “extremely intense” when in the middle of doing something.
  7.  Everywhere I go, I am out looking for new things or experiences.


Notes. Item 4 is reverse-scored before summing; to reduce potential subject error, we suggest that “not” be italicized. Items 1, 3, 4, and 7 refer to the Exploration subscale and items 2, 5, and 6 refer to the Absorption subscale.