Understanding curious behaviors

April 30, 2024by Editorial Team
Have a questioning mind

Curiosity helps us to develop our self-awareness that helps us be more honest and authentic with ourselves.It is the super power of humans that makes us invent and innovate, thus fulfilling our thrilling journey towards a vibrant and fulfilling career.

The curious questions

Rudyard Kipling, in a poem titled” I keep six honest serving-men’ had named them WHY, HOW, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE and WHO.” These are the questions that help one to learn about the world objectively. However, over time he has become complacent and stopped questioning, while children remain naturally curious – they ask questions all the time and don’t give their minds a rest.

A study conducted in the United Kingdom discovered that girls aged four are the most curious ones. They ask incredible amount of questions up to 390 questions a day, that’s an average of one question every 56 minutes while they are awake. These questions could be puerile ones such as ‘ what are shadows made of ?’, ‘why do we take so much care of our hair if it’s dead ?’ or, even ‘who invented letters?’ or ‘Why is the sky blue?’


Why are we not curious enough?

We stop being curious at a point. Curiosity breeds critical thinking i.e. the ability to analyze, evaluate, and make informed decisions that can shape the course of our lives. The major factors that impede curiosity in human may be denoted by an acronym FATE, which refers to fear, assumptions, technology, and environment.

Fear of the unknown, fear of what we might find, fear of the uncomfortable, or fear that the results of our exploration might challenge our current beliefs are powerful inhibitors of curiosity. Fear is sometimes disguised as false bravado or ego. Secondly, when we assume something already works, it kills our zeal to explore something new or different. Thirdly, as people are increasingly dependent on technology, it is considered a convenient option to fall back upon for any question rather than express curiosity. Scientists have reminded us that the more we’re given answers, the less likely we are to ask questions. Technology can, in fact, dissuade us from learning new things if we don’t overcome mental laziness. Finally, the environment in which we live or were raised also inadvertently reduces our inclination to ask questions.


The change we need

Beyond asking the questions, we need to engage ourselves to find the answer. Rather than saying “I hate being wrong,” I don’t like people saying I was not correct”, we need to imbibe an attitude of inclusivity and acceptance of one’s faults through an attitude of critical thinking, that can shape a brighter future filled with endless possibilities.


Characteristics of curious people

As humans, we all have a natural inclination to want to know why things are the way they are, explore, and learn new things.
People with a high level of curiosity always have a barrage of questions. They are not afraid to ask questions to a stranger, request feedback from colleagues, or experiment to find new ways in their bid to change and improve They are constantly trying to fill their knowledge gap with answers. Dr Temple Grandin, despite her severe autism, always had an inquisitive nature that led her to ask questions about the behaviour of animals. Her designs revolutionized the meat industry, leading to safer and more humane practices for handling livestock.Secondly, they stay in the moment. They don’t multitask. They are fully engaged and thus able to take in everything that is happening. They seem to be less affected by social rejection. Rather, they choose to learn from the situation, adapt, and grow. And most importantly,  they are immuned from the judgement of others.


About the authors

The article has been contributed by Daraksha Haque and Debparna Panda from Our Lady Queen of the Missions School, Park Circus, Kolkata.

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