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Curiosity can be a bitter way of learning new things.

We are all constantly learning something or the other every day. The whole learning process is an endless journey and never stops. We don’t really understand everything we come across. However, it is our inborn nature of curiosity which is what fuels our patience by making us stop and then take the time to understand or learn something till it finally makes sense to us.

Curiosity comes into play from the time we start out as kids. Things that never made sense to us long ago makes so much more sense right now. When we are stopped from understanding a certain thing, our minds become restless as the curiosity gets deeper and deeper. We’ve come to peace when we figure something out. Curiosity is ideal in every aspect of our lives. Understanding a magician’s secret trick, being able to overcome our childhood fears, learning history, doing researches, psychologist’s sessions, interviews, checking a missed call, all of these are directly or indirectly related to curiosity.

Math and reading skills depend on curiosity

Children develop a wide range of skills from school. A child learns several things like -

• Invention

• Imagination

• Persistence

• Attention

• Forming relationships

• Managing Feelings

Curiosity is an important factor in a child’s academic achievement. This particular feature drives a kid to learn more and more about the subject each day. A child’s gender doesn’t play a big role in the relationship between a child’s curiosity and their academic achievement.

Doing math sums and finding the answers to their problems, learning how words are pronounced or spelled all revolve around the element of curiosity. Only when a child is able to finish up these problems, only then has the child’s efforts paid off in terms of learning. Knowing how to deal with the same sum or remembering the meanings of the words from last time’s memory can keep pushing the child to go further.

Researchers, however, found that while higher curiosity may be associated with higher academic achievement in all children, the link between curiosity and academic achievement was greater in those children who came from low socioeconomic status. The kids from the higher background had greater access to resources that encouraged them to take up tasks and get awarded for the same. Whereas the kids from poorer backgrounds usually don’t get the same amount of motivation or rewards. This could be the key factor in helping those kids by closing the achievement gaps associated with poverty.

The study was carried out by Prachi Shah and a group of researchers from the University of Michigan. The study was later published by Springer Nature.

Curiosity’s role in the brain. What really happens?

Learning depends on how curious an individual really is. The more curious a person is, the more likely he is to learn about a new topic. From an experiment conducted by researchers on a group of patients, this was what they observed.

The more the curiosity, the better a person gets at learning new information. And once that deepened, a person is likely ready to learn even unrelated information. This curiosity alone was capable of putting the brain in a state that allows it to retain any kind of information

When curiosity motivates an individual to learn something new, there is an increased activity in both the reward circuit and a brain region(hippocampus) that is essential in forming new memories. Simultaneously there were also increased interaction between the brain region and the reward circuit. In simpler words, as curiosity hires the recruit system, the ongoing communication between the certain brain region(hippocampus) and the reward circuit made the brain to learn and retain that information. Even if the information was irrelevant.

The study was conducted by Dr. Matthias Gruber, Charan Ranganath of the University Of California at Davis.

Curiosity kills the cat!

Certain times, our curiosity rewards us with answers. But at times it could lead us to choose painful outcomes both mentally and physically. Even if we do have the power to avoid that event. It is the deep-rooted inner desire instilled in humans to always take unnecessary risks. Even after knowing the consequences.

Telling a child or teenager no would obviously create a feeling of anxiousness as to see what actually happens otherwise. Facing that miserable/memorable experience is the only solution to a desperately curious mind. Which is really not a good thing depending on the level of the consequence.

While curiosity helps in many cases to discover the unknown, curiosity really doesn’t save a person from an impending disaster. As the saying goes,’’curiosity killed the cat’’ makes literal sense in almost every regard. Knowing when to go forward and when to stop going further is what really matters. Since curiosity alone can blind a person from seeing what lies ahead until he sees it face-to-face.

A study was conducted by Bowen Ruan of Wisconsin School OF Business at the University of Wisconsin-madison.