Supporting The Development Of Interest In The Workplace

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date


Published In

Workforce Readiness And The Future Of Work


Research on motivation and learning indicates that people stay in all types of jobs when they find meaning and reward in what they are doing. This chapter considers how the development of interest can benefit both workforce readiness and job performance. Advances in neuroscience provide evidence that all persons are hardwired to develop interest in some content; this means that the potential to be interested is universal. Kosfeld et al.’s study has implications for understanding how unmotivated learners can be supported to be motivated. Hundreds of studies have questioned the benefits of reward and suggested that they undermine intrinsic motivation, although researchers now agree that reward does not undermine behavior when no motivation for an activity exists. Utility-value interventions are relatively simple, low-cost, and effective educational practices that have been found to increase interest and improve performance. The development of interest can be supported in each, although support to develop interest may be easier in mindful contexts.

Published By



F. Oswald, T. S. Behrend, and L. Foster

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