Read the following article from Mind & Body.
Six Surprising Benefits of Curiosity
Did you know that the benefits of curiosity are not limited to science and research? For both children and adults, curiosity has been connected to many different types of benefits. Here are six of them!
First of all, curiosity helps us survive. The desire to explore and understand new things helps us be observant. When we are curious and observe the world around us, we gain more knowledge about our environment. This may be why our brains evolved to release dopamine and other feel-good chemicals when we experience new things.
Curious people are also happier. Research shows curiosity is associated with high positive emotions and low anxiety. It also is linked to more satisfaction with life and greater psychological well-being. Of course, it may be that people who are already happy tend to be more curious. However, since learning new things can make us feel good, it seems likely that it goes the other direction as well.
Another benefit of curiosity is that it promotes achievement. Studies reveal that curiosity leads to more enjoyment and participation in school. This helps students reach higher academic achievement. It also causes greater learning, participation, and performance at work. It may seem like common sense, but when we are more interested in what we are doing, we perform better. Curiosity makes it easier to get involved, put effort in, and do well.
Furthermore, curiosity can expand our empathy. People have different lives, experiences, and opinions from our own. When we talk to people outside our usual social circle, we are better able to understand them. The next time you have the chance to talk with a stranger, try talking with them on a personal level. This is important especially if this person is very dissimilar to you. Be respectful and show them that you are interested in what they have to say.
Curiosity helps strengthen relationships as well. One study asked strangers to ask and answer personal questions, a process scientists call “reciprocal self-disclosure”. They found that people were seen as warmer and more attractive if they showed real curiosity in the conversation. Other variables like the person’s social anxiety and their emotions did not affect their feelings of attraction and closeness. This suggests that showing curiosity towards someone is a great way to build your closeness with them.
Finally, curiosity improves your health. Research shows that when doctors are genuinely curious about their patients’ feelings, both doctors and patients report less anger and frustration and make better decisions. In the end, this increases the effectiveness of treatment.
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Text adapted from: https://edtechbooks.org/-FoM