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Entertain Counterfactuals

Entertain Counterfactuals

Wondering what would happen if something about the world was different can help you understand why certain things work the way they do.

Wonder is most powerful when it uncovers the causal structures that lie beneath and are responsible for surface phenomena. These structures often include elaborate and extensive branches, so that each ‘how’ or ‘why’ question can launch a cascade of follow-up questions.

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Wonder Is Rewarding

Wonder Is Rewarding

By embracing wonder – your drive to learn about the world – you can deepen your appreciation of the world’s richness and engage more fully with others.

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Adopt Diverse Ways of Wondering

Adopt Diverse Ways of Wondering

You can experience extra pleasure in information foraging when you discover a new way of learning more.

Search engines have their place, but also look to other resources, such as videos, educational events and books that provide an accessible introduction to a subject.

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Practice Win-Win Wondering with Others

Practice Win-Win Wondering with Others

One way to reawaken wonder lies in your interactions with others. Many adults see arguments as aversive battles with the goal of conquering the other with your point of view. But this ‘argue to win’ perspective neglects the opportunity that disagreements offer for expanding wonder. To take advant...

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Embrace the proliferation of wonder

Embrace the proliferation of wonder

Wondering deeply is not about finding one simple answer. Answers to questions beget new questions, and each offers an opportunity to learn.

When you wonder, try to approach a question with the expectation that you are just taking the first step in what might turn out to be many possible cyc...

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81 reads

Look for Anomalies and Puzzles

Look for Anomalies and Puzzles

Wonder will often go into high gear when you are confronted with an apparent anomaly or puzzle. Sometimes, people ignore anomalies as annoying exceptions to a simple explanatory story that they have in mind.

Zero in on phenomena that seem atypical or unclear – they can provide fuel for wond...

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73 reads

The Bottom Line

The Bottom Line

The more you engage in wondering, the more you will ask why you haven’t wondered more in the past. Wondering deeply is one of the few activities in life in which you can acquire something of great value at little or no material cost – something that can continuously enrich how you experience the ...

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72 reads

Create a Checklist for Wondering

Create a Checklist for Wondering

  • A checklist can help ensure that you wonder in ways that are as fair and thorough as you’d like.
  • Depending on the subject of your wondering, the checklist might include different items.
  • To foster more moments of wonder, upon encountering a new phenomenon that is puzzling, you...

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68 reads

Explore Contrasting Cases

Explore Contrasting Cases

Examining the similarities and differences between related kinds or concepts can yield unexpected insights.

A range of studies has shown the value of contrasting cases for learning more deeply about a topic.

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76 reads

Regular Introspections

Regular Introspections

A periodic check-up can help you take stock of the insights you have recently gained – or prompt you to start wondering about areas of ignorance.

Ask yourself: have you learned anything new in the past month that has changed how you view or understand some aspect of the world? 

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102 reads

Revive Your Sense of Wonder

Revive Your Sense of Wonder

That childhood urge to ask ‘how’ and ‘why’ usually fades. But we can all learn to rediscover the joys of wide-eyed discovery

Wonder and the learning it encourages enable us to more fully engage with others.

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