Curiosity and exploration: facilitating positive subjective experiences and personal growth opportunities.
We examined the roles of trait curiosity and social anxiety (and the contributions of the behavioral inhibition and activation systems; BIS, BAS) in predicting positive and negative aVect (PA; NA) during social interactions. In Study 1, individuals interacted with same-sex confederates on topics that gradually escalated in emotional self-disclosure. In Study 2, cross-sex pairs of students were randomly assigned to a closeness-generating or small-talk interaction. There were several consistent Wndings across studies. Higher curiosity uniquely predicted greater interpersonally generated PA. Higher social anxiety uniquely predicted greater interpersonally generated NA in Study 1, and in Study 2, this relationship varied by social context. SpeciWcally, high compared to low socially anxious individuals reported greater NA during small-talk, with no diVerences during intimate interactions. Furthermore, Study 2 demonstrated that individuals with stronger BAS’s experienced greater PA in the intimate compared to small-talk condition. There appear to be important traits that diVerentially contribute to appetitive and aversive interpersonal experiences. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.