What is curiosity? The word is associated with the irregular form of the Latin verb cura, which means worry or care about or cure. Curiosity is the quest for new ideas and information. Curiosity is an important trait of genius. I don’t think you can find an intellectual giant who is not a curious person. Thomas Edison, Leonardo da Vinci, Richard Feynman, they are all curious characters. Curiosity, at its core, is all about noticing and being drawn to things we find interesting. It’s about recognising and seizing the pleasures that novel experiences offer us, and finding novelty and meaning even in experiences that are familiar.
Berlyne’s ‘A Theory Of Human Curiosity’ (2011) states that modern learning theory leads us to look for motivational variables to answer these questions, and a drive which is reduced by the subsequent rehearsal of knowledge is what we generally call ‘curiosity’. The paper highlights how human beings devote so much time and effort to the acquisition of knowledge, and it is this drive that piques our desire to research.
As an avid music enthusiast, curiosity appears frequently for me. Whether it’s about a particular band and their career or even how music is produced and distributed. Recently I was curious about whether CD’s and Vinyl’s will stand a chance in this growing digital age. I researched this question using the Internet as my main medium, however I did pose this question to some of friends to gage their opinions on the matter. The results concluded that music revenues from vinyl sales rose astonishingly, however it’s successor the CD is facing tough times with declining revenues as CD album sales are now surpassed by downloads. As a CD and Vinyl consumer, knowing this information has allowed me to consider whether digital albums are a more efficient and cheaper alternative to purchasing CD’s. The conclusions drawn from my initial curiosity has made me more informed and opinionated of the topic of vinyl vs. digital.
When we are curious, we see things differently; we use our powers of observation more fully. We sense what is happening in the present moment, taking note of what is, regardless of what it looked like before or what we might have expected it to be. We feel alive and engaged, more capable of embracing opportunities, making connections, and experiencing moments of insights and meaning- all of which provide the foundation for a rich, aware and satisfying life experience.
D. E. Berlyne, 2011. British Journal of Psychology. ‘A Theory Of Human Curiosity’. 13th April 2011. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-8295.1954.tb01243.x/abstract;jsessionid=8218D69E36FF58291132E8029BD6B279.f01t01 [9th March 2016]