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Curiosity

  • By: Todd B. Kashdan, Michael F. Steger & William E. Breen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Curiosity is a pleasant motivational state involving the tendency to recognize and seek out novel and challenging information and experiences. Curiosity differs from other positive emotions by the strong desire to explore and persist in the activity that initially stimulated an individual's interest. Although curiosity and enjoyment tend to go in tandem, sometimes there is a conflict between curiosity and other positive emotions because curiosity can lead to the pursuit of new, uncertain, and complex activities that are aversive. With curiosity, the rewards appear to come from the process of integrating varied and complex information and experiences rather than simply the positive affect associated with it.

Individual Differences in Curiosity

All human beings have moments of curiosity, as it is a universal characteristic that begins to emerge ...

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