What triggered the curiosity of knowledge

Why curiosity is more important than intelligence - and how it gets you ahead

I have no special talent, I am just passionately curious", Albert Einstein is supposed to have said. How originalThat's what students all over the world think. A genius who does not see his own genius.
But even if curiosity alone is not responsible for groundbreaking inventions, discoveries and events - it is one of the characteristics that successful people from a wide variety of disciplines have in common.

What role does curiosity play in academic success?

In a 2011 study, a team of researchers at the University of Edinburgh described curiosity as “Hunger for exploration”. They wanted to find out if curiosity was another factor in academic success alongside intelligence and conscientiousness. Using a meta-analysis examining data from more than 200 studies and more than 50,000 students, they concluded that curiosity has an impact on academic performance. And that is just as great as a sense of duty and responsibility. According to the study, a combination of curiosity and a sense of duty has just as much an effect on performance as intelligence.

How does curiosity affect the brain and memory?

And neurological studies also came to similar results: Matthias J. Gruber and Bernard D. Gelman came in their 2014 article “States of Curiosity Modulate Hippocampus-Dependent Learning via the Dopaminergic Circuit"Among other things, to the following conclusions:

People can better remember information that arouses curiosity in them

Many football fans remember names, transfer amounts or scores from 20 years ago without any problems - but when it comes to historical data outside of the Bundesliga, their memory seems to fail. This observation is in line with the results of the study: as soon as the participants felt curiosity, increased activity was measured in the hippocampus (the region of the brain where memories are stored).

Curiosity prepares the brain for learning

It's not surprising that it is easier to memorize information that you are passionate about. But the study also found that curiosity helps us retain information that we don't actually find particularly exciting. According to one of the co-authors of the study, curiosity puts the brain in a state in which it absorbs information of all kinds - and holds it better too.

Curiosity makes learning a sense of achievement

Curiosity not only turns the brain into a sponge that soaks up knowledge, it also causes more dopamine to be released. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter also known as the happiness hormone. If you are curious, you will also have more fun learning.

In order to learn more efficiently, curiosity is absolutely necessary.
But how can you get more curious? Here are 4 tips with which you will remain or become curious and awaken the Albert Einstein in you:

1. What if ...

No matter how unrealistic they are: allow thought experiments, allow yourself more time for daydreams. These can inspire you and give you new insights.
Netflix tip: Trigger Warning with Killer Mike. The US rapper wonders what if - and then immediately puts these thought experiments into practice. Highly entertaining and inspiring!

2. Broaden your horizons ...

Are you studying business administration? Are your friends studying business administration? Most of us live in a social bubble. This isn't bad per se, but it doesn't necessarily help you become more curious. Read books that have absolutely nothing to do with your degree program, if you have the time, take a course for which you cannot credit you credit points, or talk to friends who have a different background or different interests.
This will allow you to discover new perspectives, learn new things and perhaps open up completely new opportunities for you.

3. Create a new routine

Do you have a routine that works well for you? Well, keep it up! But: Always question your routines and above all yourself. Those who always go the same way will probably discover new things less often. Those who try new things are constantly learning new things.

4. Why? Why? Why?

There are no dumb questions, is one of those statements that are now more cliché than truth. Because, let's face it, there are questions that are not particularly intelligent. But: asking them doesn't make you stupid. Because questions that you may perceive as absolutely basic can spark interesting discussions and make you question assumptions. So: ask, investigate, stay tuned!

Curious? Then take a look right away: On our learning platform charly education you can not only create index cards, but also test your knowledge right away!