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May 14, 2019 23:39:31

Three types of curiosity

by @hiro | 346 words | 🐣 | 347💌


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Curiosity is one of the key factors to gain knowledge and wisdom. Recently everything becomes "known" very quickly. The consumption date comes so earlier than it used to be. 

To adapt to that ever-changing environment, we need to expose ourselves to new things and explore new frontiers. Another aspect is winners keeps winning. I am not saying here gaining knowledge is a "win" but once you are in the cycle where you can access to more interesting things, high-likely you could access to the next one more quickly in an accelerated manner.

According to "Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It" written by Ian Leslie, there are 3 types of curiosity:

  • diversive curiosity = all direction
  • epistemic curiosity = one direction but deeply
  • empathic curiosity = curious about what others feel

The first one is typically observed for an infant, who explores around and try to touch and eat everything. The second one is the next phase after the first one and requires the accumulation of knowledge in a certain area, which is not superficial understanding. 

How can we go that phase from diversive curiosity? There are two key criteria: 

  • A reasonable gap between expectation and reality
  • A reasonable knowledge hole 

"Reasonable" means not too big but not too small. For example, if there is too much gap between what we expect and what the reality is, we feel that is out of our understanding. On the other hand, if it is a kind of expected things, it is also not interesting. 

 As for the knowledge holes, If you do not know about a certain field at all, you might not be interested in. On the other hand, if you know already a lot, you are also not interested in the field anymore. There are maximum curiosity points in between.

There is another interesting point for knowledge holes. To notice that you have knowledge holes, you need to know something. So in this sense, to memorize and gain some facts would be one of the key factors to initiate the curiosity for the second phase.



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