New book discusses different types of curiosity and how to encourage it

Two professors and siblings explain how curiosity can be enacted in many different ways.

book cover for "Curious Minds: The Power of Connection" by Perry Zurn and Dani S. Bassett
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What are you curious about? When we’re in this mindset of curiosity, we’re not just seeking facts or a singular truth, we’re seeking connections; we’re looking to weave information together into a web, often drawing us closer to what we’re looking for and to other people who are doing the same. At the root of curiosity lies an active process of building these connections — creating relationships in the outer world that mirror those we’re stringing together in our own mind.

That’s at least the argument of a new book called “Curious Minds.” In it, twin siblings and professors Perry Zurn and Dani Bassett navigate the process of exploration that many of us excitedly partake in every day.

“Curiosity isn’t just about acquisition of knowledge. It’s about making connections. It’s about building webs of knowledge and webs of relationships.” — Perry Zurn, co-author and professor


Listen: What makes people curious and how to encourage the act.

 


Guest

Perry Zurn is an associate professor of philosophy at American University. He is the co-author of “Curious Minds: The Power of Connection.” He says that people often mistakenly think curiosity is exclusively about intrigue.

“Curiosity isn’t just about acquisition of knowledge. It’s about making connections. It’s about building webs of knowledge and webs of relationships,” says Zurn.

Dani Bassett is a professor of bioengineering at University of Pennsylvania. They are the co-author of “Curious Minds: The Power of Connection.” They say humility and curiosity often work in tandem with each other.

“There’s a lot of scientific research focusing on intellectual humility and also openness to ideas. And there are really interesting relationships between someone’s openness to ideas, someone’s intellectual humility and their curiosity and also their wellbeing or flourishing,” says Bassett.

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