Curiosity and Its Influence on Children's Memory


Curiosity has a tumultuous past. Originally curiosity was considered a vice of excess leading to misconduct and disaster. Recently, curiosity has transformed into a virtue of self-expression resulting in success and better performance. In classrooms, educators try to find ways of eliciting curiosity from their students: allowing them to pick their own research topics and books, including pop culture references in lecture, and many more strategies. Recent adult studies have revealed better memory for trivia facts that elicit more curiosity. The current study modifies the methods used in previous adult studies in order to make them more appropriate for children. Results from a sample of 24 7- and 8-year-olds reveal that by age eight curiosity significantly affects memory for trivia facts. This research may shed light on the cognitive advantages of curiosity and legitimatize the encouragement of curiosity in classrooms for school age children.

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