A few weeks ago, I got to be curious; I attended a lecture on Biometrics. Biometrics is the measurement of the physical and behavioural characteristics of people. Physical such as face recognition, palm veins etc and behavioural such as your gait, walk or voice. I found all of this fascinating and began to regurgitate everything I had learned to my family by saying ‘Did you know…?’ I must admit I could only maintain their interest for a few seconds and before I knew it I was alone and talking to myself!
What you might already know about Curiosity is that it is defined as ‘the recognition, pursuit and desire to explore novel, uncertain, complex and ambiguous events’. It is one of the 24 VIA character strengths and is closely linked to life satisfaction, under the umbrella of wisdom. Curiosity exists in each one of us. Overused it is referred to as nosiness and too little is referred to as disinterest. What is known for sure, is that it is essential for survival and growth.
Curious people ask questions, read deeply, take an interest in how the world and its people work but most importantly persist with challenging tasks. What I did not know is that there are 5 Types of Curiosity.
The first is Joyous exploration. This is what most people think of when they hear the word curiosity. This describes those that are always seeking out knowledge and wanting to know more about the world around them.
Second is Deprivation sensitivity- This is the ‘I need to know type of curiosity.’ The curiosity, which is sparked by a gap in our knowledge. We get curious to stop the feeling of anxiety or worry.
Next, is Stress Tolerance or the ‘I can sit with the discomfort’ type of curiosity. This is experienced with new or uncertain situations. Your ability to cope with such situations and embrace an unknown, negative feeling is said to link closely to positive wellbeing.
The fourth type was Thrill Seeking This type of curiosity has nothing to do with learning but more to do with seeking out adventure. This type is known to increase stress rather than reduce it. Regretfully, I know I have indulged, more often in my youth and with friends, in this type of ‘thrill’.
Finally Social curiosity links us to the people around us. It leaves us curious about how others think and behave. It forms the foundation of our interpersonal relationships.
What I took away was an interesting perspective on this very important school value. I was reminiscent of the times that the different types of curiosity had emerged in my life. I will close by asking; ‘Which type of curiosity did you relate to the most?’
Mrs Deborrah Francis
Head of Senior Girls, Wellbeing