Curiosity is a complex thing, it drives innovation, progress, and learning. However, there are many different factors that make us feel curious and cause us to naturally devour information, some of which help us calm down, and others that disturb our calm and set us up in search of excitement.
There are two main types of curiosity, viz. perceptual and cognitive curiosity, Psychologist Laura Maria Kojokaru says.
On the one hand, perceptual curiosity It’s the kind of curiosity we get when we need to calm our minds. When we are curious to know who did or said what, how a certain thing is done, how the movie ends, who is the author of a crime in a novel, etc. It does not offer any tangible reward, but it is about solving problems and eliminating knowledge gaps. It is closely related to anxiety and stress.
on the other side, cognitive curiosity It comes from a place of desire, not a place of need. This is the kind of curiosity that has driven and continues to drive inventors and scientists to do great work. It is often associated with the expectation of reward, which does not necessarily imply financial gain. Thrill seeking is also a kind of cognitive curiosity.
How do we cultivate our curiosity?
There are some simple activities that help us spark our curiosity and thus increase our creativity:
- ask questions: Randomly ask yourself “Why? How? When you are reading something or talking to friends. You can even write down some of these questions to give yourself time to find the answers later.
- Read outside your domain: Choose the type of book you will never buy. Is it classic poetry? Is it fictional? cooking book? Something about geology? Read it just to read it.
- Be curious about people: Pick someone from your circle you haven’t seen in a while and invite them over for coffee. Your goal is to learn as much as possible about his interests. Follow this approach every time you meet someone new.
- Practice speaking less: This is related to the previous. Try to talk less and listen more.
- deepen the topic: Select a topic that you find interesting and push the boundaries of your curiosity. This means reading lots of articles, books, research papers, and listening to podcasts.
- Writes: Take it to the next level by writing something exactly about it – curiosity.
- Keep a notebook: It will be easier for you to remember topics that you are curious about and want to research or write about later.
- Get to know yourself: Curiosity doesn’t have to be just external. Explore your feelings, ask yourself about your goals and behaviors, or even research your past and family history.
- Slower: Productivity can be the enemy of creativity. Take time to let your mind wander and let new questions and ideas come to mind.
In today’s world, if we have curiosity, we can enrich our lives and knowledge. Pursuing our passion pays off in the short and long term. Whether we are exploring our curiosity through social events or by studying biology, philosophy, psychology, ecology, etc., it is essential to remember that different approaches work for different people. The psychologist says that it is not just as important as discovering new information, but also what each of us does with the discovered information.
The science behind curiosity
What happens in our brains when we are curious? Why do our inquisitive minds have an unbearable need to learn new things?
Curiosity is a natural human instinct that starts from the day we are born. By about age three, most children enter the stage of asking questions like, “Why is the sky blue?” Or the classic “How do you have children?”.
Curiosity is a key component of our cognitive functioning, even if it sometimes leads to awkward conversations!
Why are we curious? How does curiosity “work” in the brain? If there’s one thing that piques our curiosity the most, it’s a complex topic shrouded in mystery…for now!
One way to begin exploring curiosity is to understand “information seeking”. This behavior can be observed throughout the animal kingdom. “Information seeking” means that each animal seeks information about its environment. This is so that they know how to survive (essentially or kind).
In fact, this is why sense organs exist – to provide the brain with information that helps us know ourselves, understand our environment, and make better choices.
“But when is seeking information tantamount to curiosity? The difference is in motivation. If we are seeking knowledge because of an extrinsic motive, such as college or work, then it is not considered curiosity. But if we seek knowledge because we have intrinsic motivation – because we only want to know the answer. – This is curiosity. When something sparks our curiosity – an interesting fact or an unexpected noise – our brains go into what is called a “curiosity state”.
Certain parts of the brain that are sensitive to unpleasant conditions light up. This shows that we feel somewhat uncomfortable because we realize that we lack some knowledge. Then the parts of the brain responsible for learning and memory get involved so that we can learn and remember what we have learned more effectively.
At this point, we’re ready to start looking for answers. And when we start learning new facts in our curiosity, something more interesting happens than our improved memory: Our reward circuit begins,” says psychologist Laura Maria Kojokaru.