Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 15 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Recent years have seen renewed attention to curiosity and interest―recognizing, seeking out, and preferring things that are outside of one’s normal experience. In this chapter, we explore curiosity, where it fits in the larger scheme of positive emotions, how individual differences are assessed, the advantages of being curious in social relationships, links between curiosity and elements of well-being, and how it has been used in interventions to improve people’s quality of life. Our review emphasizes findings that show how curiosity operates in the laboratory and everyday life, and how, under certain conditions, curiosity can be a profound source of strength, or a liability. People who are regularly curious and willing to embrace the novelty, uncertainty, and challenges that are inevitable in everyday life have an advantage in creating a fulfilling existence compared with their less curious peers. Our review is designed to bring further attention to this underappreciated human universal.

Keywords: curiosity, interest, positive emotions, well-being, meaning, motivation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.