Domain knowledge and individual interest: The effects of academic level and specialization in statistics and psychology

Kimberly A. Lawless, Jonna Marie Kulikowich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Scopus citations


Numerous research studies have highlighted the significant impact of domain knowledge and individual interest on learning. However, much of this prior research has neglected several important issues regarding the dynamic interplay of domain knowledge and individual interest both within and between domains as well as across developmental stages of learners. Situated within the Model of Domain Learning, this investigation seeks to respond to those issues. We studied the scores of 267 undergraduate and graduate students representing a variety of majors and programs. Results indicate that domain knowledge and individual interest are related differently for the domains of statistics and psychology. Further, findings indicate that when examining multiple domains of learning (e.g., statistics and psychology), the relationship between domain knowledge and interest changes as an artifact of both students' academic level of preparation in undergraduate and graduate programs and their academic specialization. Based on these results, we offer implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-43
Number of pages14
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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