DEFINITION OF CURIOSITY

DEFINITION OF CURIOSITY

Originating from the Latin curiositas, curiosity is the intention to discover something that one does not know. Said will usually focuses on things that the person does not concern or that, supposedly, they should not care about.

For example: “I know it’s none of my business, but I’m asking you out of curiosity”, “Curiosity led me to open the trunk”, “There are things that are better not to know, I suggest you control your curiosity”.

Curiosity is considered to be a natural behavior.

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Curiosity, a natural behavior

Curiosity is usually considered to be a natural behaviour, shared by humans and animals. In the case of people, various psychological and emotional factors come into play that lead an individual to search for information to satisfy her interest in certain data or to confirm some belief. Thanks to curiosity, people interact with other subjects and with the environment in general.

Curiosity can be associated with an instinct that is even part of the subsistence mechanisms of living beings. Curiosity, in this sense, is encoded in the DNA of the species.

“Curiosity killed the cat” is an expression in popular use.

Hazards and damage

In some cases, curiosity can lead to dangerous or harmful behavior. A man cannot violate the intimacy and privacy of another just to satisfy his curiosity: this means that he has no right to open his mail, peek through the window or rummage through his garbage with the justification of wanting to know more about him.

Another example of insane curiosity is the person who decides to jump from a height of thirty meters because he wants to discover what it feels like.

Curiosity as a development engine

But curiosity is often one of the starting points towards personal, artistic and professional development. During childhood, before immersing ourselves in that dangerous series of prohibitions and rules devised by people we will never meet, it is normal that we do not know how to stop ourselves before the impulse to know more, to learn, to get to the bottom of each mystery. that we stumble upon, or that we don’t want to do it even though our elders try to dissuade us.

And so, letting ourselves be carried away by our desire to discover what is apparently hidden and forbidden, we often cultivate vocations, or open doors that other human beings believed impossible to open, or that they were completely unaware of. In trivial cases, curiosity is associated with looking for the hiding place of Christmas gifts, reading someone else’s letter or spying on another person through a peephole ; but this impulse can lead us to generate great advances.

Social impositions

Of course, the curiosity that, as mentioned in the third paragraph, we share with the rest of the animals, is as interesting as the mechanism that we acquire and start up with more and more intensity to block it. How does a person who showed constant restlessness in his childhood become moderate and reluctant to change?

Through the advice of the elders and the disappointments of life, little by little we are convinced that the risks are not worth it, and thus we are quenching our curiosity. Once again, the power of social impositions molds us, sacrificing some of our best features in the process.

The cat and curiosity

It is interesting to mention that the popularly used metaphor «curiosity killed the cat» has its origin in the English language and serves to warn about how dangerous it can be to investigate or experiment in excess. There is also an ending to this phrase, although it is not used as often: “but the satisfaction revived him.”

It is worth mentioning that its original version did not contain the term “curiosity”, but rather “concern”, and its first appearance in literature can be seen in the play ” Every Man in His Humour “, by the British playwright Ben Jonson, in the year 1598.

CURIOSITY

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