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The science of curiosity

Perceptual curiosity

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.

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The science of curiosity

The science of curiosity

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/09/the-science-of-curiosity/#

weforum.org

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Key Ideas

Perceptual curiosity

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.

Epistemic curiosity

A pleasurable state associated with an anticipation of reward. 

That’s our level of knowledge. That’s what drives all scientific research. It drives many artworks. It drives education and other things like that.

Genetic component of curiosity

Most psychological traits, and curiosity is no exception, have a genetic component to them.

The fact that some people are much more curious than others largely has to do with their genetics. But, as in all cases, genetics is never the whole story.

Curiosity and aging

Love of knowledge  and our willingness to learn new things appears to be constant across all ages. 

People at very old ages are still willing to learn things, to discover new things, to read. 

The topics in which you are curious about may change with age or with time or with whatever occupation you are in.

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The Eighth Qualitative Habit

It's related to your ability to act instead of reacting when things don’t go your way.

Your reactivity impacts your attitude, performance, effectiveness and how others perceive you.

Act instead of reacting

The real distress from an unpleasant situation comes from the reaction to the situation, not from the initial event itself.

If you can avoid reacting when uncontrollable events happen, you can reduce your stress and improve your effectiveness and well-being. 

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Practicing Self-Regulation

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Studies found that people are not very good at accurately remembering what they were like before a traumatic event. When they think they have experienced growth, it might just be a coping mechanism. Those who reported personal growth after a tragedy were more likely to continue to experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

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It can be problematic to embrace the idea that personal growth and resilience are typical outcomes of adversity.

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