Psychologists have always been interested in interest, and so modern research on interest can be found in nearly every area of the Researchers studying emotions, cognition, development, education, aesthetics, personality, motivation, and vocations have developed intriguing ideas about what interest is and how it works. Exploring the Psychology of Interest presents an integrated picture of how interest has been studied in all the wide-ranging areas of psychology. Using modern theories of cognition and emotion as an integrative framework, Paul Silvia examines the nature of interest, what makes things interesting, the role of interest in personality, and the development of peoples idiosyncratic interests, hobbies, and avocations. His examination reveals deep similarities between seemingly different fields of psychology and illustrates the profound importance of interest, curiosity, and intrinsic motivation for understanding why people do what they do. The most comprehensive work of its kind, Exploring the Psychology of Interest will be a valuable resource for student and professional researchers in cognitive, social, and developmental psychology.
"People who must create feelings of interest—entertainers, teachers, writers, artists, magicians, and beleaguered babysitters, to name a few—need to know how to manipulate the emotions of other people. This requires understanding the dynamics of emotional experience."
A fine overview of psychological theories of interest (as of 2006). Non-technical and rather brief. Unfortunately, the field is so undeveloped (well, since 100 years of psychological science), that you will get almost no real-life insights into how to develop and keep interest in something.
Now I have a better grasp on what and why might be interesting. Since that was my whole goal for reading this book, I'd say it fulfilled it's purpose quite nicely.
In this book Silvia looks more closely at the idea of interest as an emotion that might arise in case of enjoyable and complex situations with a potential to gain information that can be understood. In other parts the author brings forth theories about what makes some texts more interesting and what are vocational interests, how they can be measured and what do we know or think about how it happens that people have long lasting interests that translate well to a specific type of job or hobby.