How are Curious People Viewed and How Do they Behave in Social Situations? From the Perspectives of Self, Friends, Parents, and Unacquainted Observers.
ABSTRACT Objective. People who are open and curious orient their lives around an appreciation of novelty and a strong urge to explore, discover, and grow. Researchers have recently shown that being an open, curious person is linked to healthy social outcomes. Method. To better understand the benefits (and liabilities) of being a curious person, we used a multi-method design of social behavior to assess the perspectives of multiple informants including self, friends, and parents, and behavior coded from direct observations in unstructured social interactions. Results. We found an impressive degree of convergence among self, friends, and parent reports of curiosity, and observer-rated behavioral correlates of curiosity. A curious personality was linked to a wide range of adaptive behaviors including tolerance of anxiety and uncertainty, positive emotional expressiveness, initiation of humor and playfulness, unconventional thinking, and a non-defensive, non-critical attitude. Conclusions. This characterization of curious people provides insights into mechanisms underlying associated healthy social outcomes.