How to Become More Curious - Deepstash
How to Become More Curious

How to Become More Curious

scotthyoung.com

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Scott Young

"Learning is dialog, not consumption. The attitude that creates curiosity is to see learning as principally driven by asking questions and coming up with answers, not consuming information."

SCOTT YOUNG

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What makes learning interesting

Learning is a lot easier when it’s interesting. And what makes learning interesting is the degree of your curiosity about a certain subject.

Career opportunities and the fear of failure can motivate us. But if you really want to learn something, nothing beats curiosity.

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Curiosity: evolution of the concept

Curiosity was first pictures as an unpleasant state that we were motivated to decrease.

In 1994, George Loewenstein offered a more modern take in his information-gap theory. His theory stated that curiosity was driven from the gap between what you know and what you’d like to know.

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George Loewenstein's theory on curiosity

George Loewenstein's theory on curiosity

  • Curiosity is influenced by framing effects. If the situation highlights a single missing piece, you’re much more curious than if you think you haven’t assembled most of the puzzle.
  • Insight-based issues provoke more curiosity than accumulative ones. If you need a single idea to make the entire idea snap into relief, you’ll be more curious than if the answer is only to be found by acquiring a mountain of facts.
  • You need to believe you can solve the puzzle. To be curious, we need to believe we can achieve success. If you think a lot of investigation won’t result in an insightful payoff, low curiosity is likely to result.

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Predicting curiosity

Knowledge about a subject predicts curiosity for new knowledge. And this happens because you need to have some information before you can ask good questions. Since good questions are the raw material for curiosity, it’s difficult to be curious about something when you can’t ask any questions.

This shows that learning creates a positive feedback loop. The more you know about a topic, the more likely you are to have unanswered questions that direct and motivate curiosity.

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Making things more interesting by asking the right questions

To be more curious, you have to rethink the information you've acquired in terms of the key mysteries it was developed to solve.

Your curiosity will be stronger when you'll have a concrete, unanswered question that seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to solve.

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Know where to get the answers

  • The art of asking questions needs to be paired with the capacity of finding the answers.
  • Online forums are good ways and environments to ask questions and get expert replies. For many questions, teachers, peers and people around you can often answer questions you’ve missed.
  • Figuring out the answer for yourself is also satisfying.

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