The principle of curiosity is deeply rooted in the brain. Although it also appears in many animals, in humans this instinct is much more powerful and sophisticated.
This is due to our natural selection. This mechanism allows us to find new resources to adapt to any circumstance and come out with flying colors.
Writer Dorothy Parker once said that boredom is cured with curiosity, but curiosity cannot be cured with nothing. questioning the reason, the why and the how of what surrounds him, is extinguished a little more each day.
The absence of curiosity weakens the brain and robs us of dynamism, energy and creativity … If individuals have an almost inherent need to resolve uncertainties, mysteries and daily inconsistencies, it is because these processes generate research and learning.
This imprint in our genomes has allowed us to be where we are today. The human brain is driven by a feeling of curiosity. This is what facilitates knowledge, motivation and even survival.
The principle of curiosity: what does it consist of?
Curiosity is a fundamental part of our cognition; however, the truth is that we still harbor many doubts about its neural mechanisms, and even its biological function. Research on this has only recently started. The idea is to understand the usefulness of this mechanism as well as the individual differences.
We would also like to cite the work of Dr. Todd Kashdan, from the University of Florida, who in 2004 developed a scale to explore curious behavior. He underlines one striking thing: we spend more time letting ourselves be guided by the principle of curiosity than feeding ourselves.
Actions as simple as reading, listening to music, watching a movie, taking a look on our social networks or even conversing with our loved ones, are motivated by curious behavior. We have completely overlooked a dimension that in a way guides a large part of our behavior.
Curiosity is a fundamental component of our nature
Of searches such as those conducted by the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, we reveal something essential. Curiosity is one of the most important human impulses and, until today, we have not given it enough importance.
Thanks to her, we discovered science. It facilitates learning as well as our personal development.
William James, one of the most eminent psychologists in our history, defined the principle of curiosity as the impetus for better cognition. In other words, this dimension defines the desire to know what we don’t know; it is the highest form of developing our intelligence.
Principle of curiosity and mood
The principle of curiosity also tells us that this dimension can decline at certain times. Indeed, psychological disorders such as depression extinguish our curiosity. As is the cognitive decline associated with age and degenerative diseases.
On the other hand, the field of neuroscience indicates that the mere fact of experiencing the sting of curiosity is an invigorating stimulation for the brain. This dimension stimulates learning, the understanding of things and knowledge.
However, we only have these kinds of experiences when we are in a good mood. Times of apathy, discouragement and sadness dilute this mechanism.
Pleasure and stress tolerance
It is an interesting fact that we have all felt over and over again. Curiosity teaches us to tolerate stress and anxiety. We achieve this by understanding that our reality is punctuated with uncertainties and that it is something common. We know that everything in our daily life does not follow a pattern or is not predictable.
However, far from blocking us, these dimensions encourage us to face them, to resolve them and to work to understand them, even transform them. This is all that ultimately facilitated our progress and survival.
Curiosity as a way to develop our brain
If there is one aspect in which we should return to childhood, it is that of curiosity. This quality, which fades and weakens over the years, is one of the characteristics that defines the best most kids.
Indeed, it is they who show the greatest interest in situations marked by uncertainty. They love, for example, to manipulate objects whose underlying mechanisms they cannot grasp.
While we as adults take countless things for granted, children probe and wonder why what they see cannot be otherwise. Their lateral thinking challenges our more logical and normative approach.
In addition, children exhibit social curiosity and perceptual curiosity. They are intrigued by almost any stimulus, as well as how our society is shaped and how we relate to each other. In their minds, there is a pervasive component that is also part of the principle of curiosity: fascination.