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The Science of Curiosity

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The Science of Curiosity

Why We Keep Asking “Why”

Ness Labs,

5 min read
4 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Curiosity did not kill the cat. Curiosity kept it healthy and sharpened its mind.

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In standardized tests that measure people’s curiosity, children consistently outperform adults. In fact, kids don’t perform just a little better on these tests, they are significantly better than adults. Since curiosity boosts longevity and improves memory of new information, adults should be concerned. However, don’t despair. You can relearn curiosity by incorporating some easy strategies into your daily life.


People’s curiosity decreases over time.

Most children are highly curious. But people’s inquisitiveness decreases over time due to various factors. Research by psychologist Susan Engel suggests that schools can be an impediment to children’s natural curiosity. In her study, Engel found that the curiosity students exhibited through asking questions, manipulating objects and visual attention decreased from 2.36 “episodes” every two hours in kindergarten to only 0.48 episodes by fifth grade. 

Author and general systems scientist George Land conducted a longitudinal study to measure how the creative potential of 1,600 children developed ...

About the Author

Anne-Laure Le Cunff is the founder of Ness Labs, a community of curious minds striving to maximize human potential while safeguarding mental health.

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