@staycuriousorg

6 Surprising Benefits of Curiosity

4 mins read

For children and adults alike, curiosity has been linked with psychological, emotional, social, and even health benefits.

“Why?”

That’s the question parents and teachers both dread and love to hear from kids. We dread it because, well, sometimes we don’t know the answer—or we’re too lazy or harried to come up with a good one. But we usually do our best, understanding that curiosity is key to learning.

But did you know that the benefits of curiosity are not limited to the intellectual? For children and adults alike, curiosity has been linked with psychological, emotional, social, and even health benefits. Here are six of them!

1. Curiosity helps us survive.

The urge to explore and seek novelty helps us remain vigilant and gain knowledge about our constantly changing environment, which may be why our brains evolved to release dopamine and other feel-good chemicals when we encounter new things.

2. Curious people are happier.

Research has shown curiosity to be associated with higher levels of positive emotions, lower levels of anxiety, more satisfaction with life, and greater psychological well-being. Of course, it may be, at least partially, that people who are already happier tend to be more curious, but since novelty makes us feel good (see above), it seems likely that it goes the other direction as well.

3. Curiosity boosts achievement.

Studies reveal that curiosity leads to more enjoyment and participation in school and higher academic achievement, as well as greater learning, engagement, and performance at work. It may seem like common sense, but when we are more curious about and interested in what we are doing, it’s easier to get involved, put effort in, and do well.

4. Curiosity can expand our empathy.

When we are curious about others and talk to people outside our usual social circle, we become better able to understand those with lives, experiences, and worldviews different than our own. Next time you have the chance to talk with a stranger, especially someone who may be quite dissimilar to you, try engaging with them on a personal level (respectfully, of course) and showing them that you are interested in what they have to say.

5. Curiosity helps strengthen relationships.

One study asked strangers to pose and answer personal questions, a process scientists call “reciprocal self-disclosure.” They found that people were rated as warmer and more attractive if they showed real curiosity in the exchange (while other variables like the person’s social anxiety and their levels of positive and negative emotions did not affect the partner’s feelings of attraction and closeness). This implies that demonstrating curiosity towards someone is a great way to build your closeness with them.

6. Curiosity improves healthcare.

Research suggests that when doctors are genuinely curious about their patients’ perspectives, both doctors and patients report less anger and frustration and make better decisions, ultimately increasing the effectiveness of treatment.

This article originally appeared in Greater Good Magazine.

All About The 6th Grade | Ep. 6

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1 min read

In this curious conversation, we get a glimpse of how compulsory school (K – 12) has been impacted by COVID-19, how both students and teachers always have a lot to learn, and how being able to ask for help is a sign of courage, all told through the eyes of a sixth grader.

Special Guest: Lily Kalin

Lily is a 12 year old, sassy, sixth grader who is brilliant, a voracious reader, and is making the best of these trying times during the pandemic. She is a class act, has an unbridled curiosity, and above all, is my adorable niece.

This podcast also includes intro music from Mr. Gnome; an alternative art rock married duo from Cleveland, Ohio. Inspired by a taste for the surreal, Cleveland’s Mr. Gnome has been creating a distinctive brand of hypnotic, gritty space-psychedelia since 2005.

Listen, stream, download their music.

Listening time: 35 minutes

When Life Throws Thorns; Hunt For Roses | Ep. 5

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1 min read

In this curious conversation, we cover how the economic collapse of 2009 blended the need for sustainability and a passion for a green thumb, the vast amount of free resources out there for horticulture, and how we (like roses) will regrow and prosper again.

Special Guest: Doug Wickert

Doug is a long-time friend with a dialectic mind that has been both inspirational and supportive of staycurious.org.

Above all, it was a pleasure to have him as guest and learn about his curiosities, his passions, and to hear him laugh.

Visit his Facebook page Wickert Garderns for more information on anything roses.

Listening time: 46 minutes

Ben & Jerry’s and ‘Caring Capitalism’ | Ep. 4

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1 min read

In this podcast, we dive into how quirky ice cream founders, Ben and Jerry, have been the poster case to create a new kind of company that is friendlier to social enterprise: the Benefit Corporation.

Today’s guest is a long time friend and inspiration for staycurious.org: Doug Wickert.

Listening time: 30 minutes

Read more about Ben & Jerry’s B Corp journey.

Curious about Benefit Corporations & Certified B Corps?

Momma-T in the House | Ep. 3

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1 min read

This podcast was such a special experience and one I will forever remember.

The first ever guest has been a huge influence in my life and one of the most loving souls one will ever meet. All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my mom aka Momma-T.

She is a beautiful woman, loving mother, great friend, instinctive philosopher, and one of the coolest people I’ve ever met.

We talk education, growing up in 60’s, raising children and grandchildren and a few other fun topics.

The episode is rough around the edges, has a few errors, and we recorded in two takes due to technical errors.

Listening time: 45 minutes

What is Creative Destruction? | Ep. 2

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1 min read

In this podcast, we table the big P’s of 2020: prevalent protests, politics and pandemics. #alliteration

First, we dive into creative destruction. What exactly is it?

Secondly, we see how creative destruction has and will impact life as we know it, specifically the education industry.

Finally, we touch base on what this means for parents, students and everyone else impacted by the pandemic moving forward.

The episode is raw, has a few errors, and was recorded in one take.

Read more about creative destruction here.

Listening time: 25 minutes

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