Analysis Finds There’s Extra Than One Sort of Curiosity. Which Do You Have?

Curiosity impacts every thing from {our relationships} to our schooling, but it surely’s not simple to pin down and put below a microscope to review. With the assistance of Wikipedia although, researchers have now finished simply, exploring two most important forms of curiosity.


Utilizing Wikipedia searching as an exercise to look at, and a maths method referred to as graph concept to formally chart and measure it, 149 contributors had been noticed searching for quarter-hour a day over the course of 21 days, protecting 18,654 pages in complete.

The ensuing research was in a position to break up the people into two beforehand recognized varieties, so far as curiosity goes: the ‘busybody’ who explores loads of various data, and the ‘hunter’ who stays on a extra targeted observe on the subject of gaining information.

Wikipedia searching behaviour was used to analyse curiosity. (Lydon-Staley et al, Nature Human Behaviour 2021)

“Wikipedia allowed each introverts and extroverts to have equal alternative in curious observe, a limitation in different research of curiosity, whereas the ad-free search engine allowed people to actually be captains of their very own curiosity ships,” says biophysicist Danielle Bassett, from the College of Pennsylvania.

By recording pages as nodes and analysing how carefully they had been associated, Bassett and her colleagues had been capable of finding each busybodies and hunters of their pool of volunteers – those that tended to leap throughout Wikipedia and those that had been extra more likely to keep on carefully associated pages.


Nonetheless, the contributors did not all the time stick to 1 kind of behaviour or the opposite, and the researchers needed to search out out why. To do that, they used a wellbeing questionnaire given to the contributors earlier than the research started, protecting matters like in search of out social interplay and tolerating stress.

Primarily based on the surveys, a must fill particular information gaps appeared to drive hunter-style behaviour, whereas a need to hunt out model new data was an indicator of a busybody-style of Wikipedia searching – taking bigger leaps between nodes or pages.

“We hypothesise {that a} swap from hunter to busybody model would possibly come up on account of sensation in search of, or the longing for novelty and new data in the course of the day,” says Bassett.

One of many causes that this research stands out is that it appears to be like at how curiosity is expressed – slightly than making an attempt to quantify it by engagement in actions like asking questions, enjoying trivia video games, and gossiping, as earlier research have finished.

These findings will be helpful in a lot of methods, together with in informing approaches to instructing – significantly in how information and assets will be greatest introduced, and the way completely different problem-solving kinds will be supported.

Curiosity can be linked to emotional wellbeing: people who find themselves extra curious are typically extra happy with life and fewer anxious. By ensuring data is on the market in methods which might be accessible, we will foster curiosity and promote contentment on the identical time.

“We’d like extra knowledge to know find out how to use this data within the classroom, however I hope it discourages the concept that there are curious and incurious individuals,” says psychologist David Lydon-Staley, from the College of Pennsylvania.

The analysis has been revealed in Nature Human Behaviour.


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