Curiosity | Character Strength | VIA Institute

Become Aware Of Your Strength

Understand what curiosity is all about so you can begin recognizing it in yourself and others.
What is Curiosity?

To be curious is to explore and discover, to take an interest in ongoing experience for its own sake. Curiosity is often described as novelty-seeking and being open to experience, and it’s associated with the natural desire to build knowledge. It is fulfilling to journey toward an answer, to engage in a new experience, or to learn a new fact. To go to a new restaurant, visit a new city, meet a new person in your class, or to conduct an online search for a question can each fulfill your quest for new experiences and new information.

There are two key components to curious individuals: They are interested in exploring new ideas, activities and experiences, and they also have a strong desire to increase their own personal knowledge.

Which virtue is this strength?
Curiosity is a strength within the virtue category of wisdom, one of six virtues that subcategorize the 24 strengths. Wisdom describes strengths that help you gather and use knowledge. The other strengths in Wisdom are creativity , curiosity , judgment , love of learning , and perspective .
What the Science Says

Research findings on the benefits of curiosity found that curiosity is one of the 5 strengths most reliably linked to satisfaction with life. Curiosity also is associated with happiness, health, longevity, and positive social relationships. Curious people are more attracted to activities that offer opportunities for growth, competence, and higher levels of stimulation. Thus, they are likely to report having personal goals aimed at self-improvement, such as wanting to know more about their character strengths! Curiosity is often the entry point to many lifelong hobbies, passions, and pursuits.

Explore Your Strength

Reflect on how you’ve used curiosity in the past, in everyday life and during special or critical times.

Questions to Help You Understand Your Strength Better
  • What are you most curious about? Were you a curious child and adolescent?
  • How has your curiosity been affected growing up? If it has changed over time, why is that?
  • How does curiosity play out across the different domains of your life – family, socializing, work, school?
Examples of this Strength in Action

Wondering about times that you may be using this strength? Here are a few examples of Curiosity at work in the world.

  • Trying a new food or going to a new restaurant to explore different foods and places.
  • Driving a different route home to explore a new area near where you live.
  • Doing an online search for community activities going on around you then taking notice of what piques your curiosity most.

Apply Your Strength

How can you make the most of curiosity in your everyday life? In the moments that matter most? Here are some ideas.
  • Consider an activity you dislike. Pay attention to 3 novel features of this activity while you do it.
  • Practice active curiosity and explore your current environment, paying attention to anything you may often ignore or take for granted.
  • Try asking “why?” more often on your team or with your subordinates and supervisors to express more curiosity at work. Don’t take what you’re told at face value if it doesn’t make complete sense to you.