Curiosity declines with age - Deepstash

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The science of curiosity: why we keep asking "why"

Curiosity declines with age

Curiosity declines with age

Children are extremely curious. They keep asking, "why?" and explore new things just because they want to know.

But research shows that during the schooling years, curiosity steadily declines, and as adults, we fall into fixed and convenient thought patterns.

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Reduced group conflict

Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

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Describing wonder

Wonder is said to be a childish emotion. However, as adults, we experience it when gaping at something unexpectedly spectacular.

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Bodily symptoms

The bodily symptoms of this strange appearance point to three dimensions:

  • Sensory: The marvelous things take hold of our senses - we stare and widen our eyes.
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  • Spiritual: We look upwards in veneration, which makes our heart swell.
The scale of wonder

At the mild end of this emotion, we talk about things being marvelous. More intense emotions might be described as astonishing. The extreme of this experiences is met with expressions of awe.

Growing Up

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Playfulness

Playfulness is the lesser-known and under-appreciated antidote to unhappiness, boredom, and stuckness of life.

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Playfulness outcompetes worry and anxiety.

Most people find it hard to worry less, so the way out is to find something playful to do, a distraction or a hobby, or get into mindfulness meditation.