Is Curiosity A Positive Or Negative Feeling?

By Tania Lombrozo, NPR contributor

Curious Kid Image

Curiosity is a familiar feeling among people.

But as soon as we scrutinize that feeling, curiosity reveals itself to be a complex emotion indeed. Just ask yourself: Is curiosity a positive feeling or a negative feeling? Is it more like frustration or more like anticipation? Is it a painful reminder of what we don’t (yet) know, or a thrilling beacon towards what we might soon discover?

Actually, curiosity can be all of these things — and more. Like lust, curiosity has positive and negative faces: one pointed (with happy anticipation!) towards what we desire, one pointed (with cruel frustration!) towards what we have not yet obtained — and may never obtain.

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