Topology of Curiosity

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Contributors

Jolanta Wos

One of the first differentiations which is still commonly used in respect to curiosity was first introduced by Daniel Berlyne. As mentioned in the Curiosity in Literature section, Berlyne proposed to make a distinction between perceptual and epistemic curiosity, as exhibitions of investigative activities. According to him, perceptual curiosity was intensified cognition that could be aroused as a result of any sensory stimulation (i.e. sight, smell, touch). On the other hand, epistemic type was aroused by the perceived gap between the current level of knowledge and the aspired one. In most of his research, Berlyne chose to focus on epistemic curiosity downplaying the role of boredom as a rather ambiguous motivational state. [1]

Concurrently, Berlyne was responsible for division of curiosity into two types: specific and diverse. Diverse curiosity occurred mainly as a result of boredom and was the feeling that takes one on an adventure to investigate the novel ideas or objects, whereas specific one had was aroused by a more distinct and definite stimulus directed at solving a specific issue at hand. [2] Therefore, he explored this notion as a combination of "collative stimuli" (i.e. complexity, novelty, incongruity, ambiguity, blurriness, surprisingness, power to induce uncertainty) and "exploratory responses". [1] With this aspect, his works provided grounds for theory of collative motivation, which was later applied to areas such as art, intellectual process and humor. [3]

The below figure as adopted from Harvey, [4], provides the combination of the types of curiosity in relation to the exploratory behaviours, through which they are manifested.


Figure 1: Topology of Curiosity as adopted from Harvey


For further information regarding the role of Curiosity in the Adaptive Cycle go back to Group 2 Student Lecture.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Boyle, Gregory J., Critical Review of State-Trait Curiosity Test Development. Institute of Catholic Education. p.1
  2. Borowske, Kate., Curiosity and Motivation-to-Learn. Paper presented at ACRL 12th National Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota. April 07-10, 2005, p.347
  3. Konecni, Vladimir J., Daniel E. Berlyne: 1924-1976. American Journal of Psychology. March 1978, Vol.91, No.1, p. 135
  4. Harvey, Michael., Novicevic, Milorad., Leonard, Nancy., Payne, Dinah., The Role of Curiosity in Global Managers' Decision-Making. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 2007, Vol.13, No.3, p.48

Contributors

Jolanta Wos