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What’s Going on Inside the Brain Of A Curious Person?

What’s Going on Inside the Brain Of A Curious Person? | Knowledge Broker |

New research suggests that curiosity triggers chemical changes in the brain that help people better understand and retain information.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

study published in the October issue of the journal Neuron, suggests that the brain’s chemistry changes when we become curious, helping us better learn and retain information.

Ally Greer's comment, November 5, 2014 5:16 PM
super cool find!
Kenneth Mikkelsen's comment, November 5, 2014 6:01 PM
Thanks Ally :-)
Scooped by Kenneth Mikkelsen!

Curiosity – Why Our Future Depends On It

Watch author Ian Leslie as he asks what feeds curiosity and what starves it. Revealing that curiosity is not a gift, but a habit that parents, schools, workplaces and individuals need to nurture if it is to thrive.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Ian Leslie argues that our future depends on developing a deep curiosity about the world – and he doesn't mean clicking on Twitter links.

Read a review of Ian's book from The Independent here

You can also follow Ian on Twitter: @mrianleslie.

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The Power of Curiosity: 3 Strategies for Staying Curious

The Power of Curiosity: 3 Strategies for Staying Curious | Knowledge Broker |

As kids we’re insatiably inquisitive. Everything — from cups to cupboards to dirt to our own hands — fascinates us. But for many of us, as we start getting older, we lose our appetite for curiosity.

And yet curiosity is powerful. It adds color, vibrancy, passion and pleasure to our lives. It helps us solve stubborn problems.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Curiosity can be separated into three categories:

  • Diversive curiosity is attraction to novelty. It’s what encourages us to explore new places, people and things. There is no method or process. This curiosity is just the beginning. (It’s also not always benign curiosity: High diversive curiosity is a risk factor for drug addiction and arson.)
  • Epistemic curiosity is a deeper quest for knowledge. It “represents the deepening of a simple seeking of newness into a directed attempt to build understanding. It’s what happens when diversive curiosity grows up.” This kind of curiosity requires effort. It’s hard work, but also more rewarding.
  • Empathic curiosity is putting yourself in another person’s shoes, curious about their thoughts and feelings. “Diversive curiosity might make you wonder what a person does for a living; empathic curiosity makes you wonder why they do it.”
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The Moral Power of Curiosity

The Moral Power of Curiosity | Knowledge Broker |

Most of us have at one time or another felt ourselves in the grip of the explanatory drive. You’re confronted by some puzzle, confusion or mystery. Your inability to come up with an answer gnaws at you. You’re up at night, turning the problem over in your mind. Then, suddenly: clarity. The pieces click into place. There’s a jolt of pure satisfaction.

We’re all familiar with this drive, but I wasn’t really conscious of the moral force of this longing until I read Michael Lewis’s book, “Flash Boys.”

As you’re probably aware, this book is about how a small number of Wall Street-types figured out that the stock markets were rigged by high-frequency traders who used complex technologies to give themselves a head start on everybody else. It’s nominally a book about finance, but it’s really a morality tale. The core question Lewis forces us to ask is: Why did some people do the right thing while most of their peers did not?

The answer, is that most people on Wall Street are primarily motivated to make money, but a few people are primarily motivated by an intense desire to figure stuff out.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Very interesting op-ed column in New York Times by David Brooks linking curiosity and the behavior on Wall St.

The column relates to Michael Lewis' recent book, Flash Boy.

I suggest you also read the counter argument from Todd Essig on Forbes: The Morality Of Curiosity And The Immorality Of Certainty.

Tony Vengrove's curator insight, April 13, 2014 3:35 PM

Funny, I just wrote a piece about curiosity a couple of days ago and along comes this interesting article.  Love this line:  "...but a few people are primarily motivated by an intense desire to figure stuff out."  Yes!

Connie Hamilton Ed.S.'s curator insight, April 13, 2014 4:37 PM
Just watch a kindergartener.
Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Adviser ★ Learning Designer ★ Neo-Generalist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. He helps visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviours and organisational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.