Curiosity has several kinds or flavors, and they are not driven by the same things. There is something that has been dubbed perceptual curiosity and epistemic curiosity.
Curiosity is a fundamental human trait. Everyone is curious, but the object and degree of that curiosity is different depending on the person and the situation.
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Different people are curious about different things, and the level of intensity of their curiosity may be different.
That’s the curiosity we feel when something surprises us or when something doesn’t quite agree with what we know or think we know.
There are two things to remember:
There are some people who have the feeling that because we have information literally at our fingertips, maybe we’re becoming less curious. But that’s not true.
Kids are more curious in terms of diversity than perceptual curiosity.
But in terms of epistemic curiosity, adults are as curious.
The curiosity we feel when something surprises us or when something doesn’t quite agree with what we know or think we know.
That is felt as an unpleasant state, as an adversity state. It’s a bit like an itch that we need to scratch. That’s why we try to find out the information in order to relieve that type of curiosity.
Curiosity doesn’t seem to be tied to any specific reward.
It makes sense for organisms to seek food, water, sex, shelter, rest, wealth, or any of the other myriad nourishing and pleasant things in life. But what is the good of deducing the nature of gravity, or of going to the moon?
A simple answer is that we never know if what we learn today might come in handy tomorrow.
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