the Curiosity Project
The goal of this project is studying, documenting, and cultivating curiosity and wonder.
What is currently known about curiosity and wonder? In this section of the project, I will review the various fields from which curiosity has been studied, including neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, and education. The goal of this part is to find out how curiosity and wonder work inside the brain, how their influence can be increased or decreased, and the role they play in development, social interaction, and cultural progress. This section will set the stage for the project's findings.
How does curiosity and wonder differ between people? In the previous section, I am looking at the topic generally, that is, the mechanisms at work in all people or across groups of people. In this section, I will shine a light on individuals, trying to learn about the roles of curiosity and wonder in their lives. First, I will document stories of curiosity and wonder. These will flow from individuals to me, highlighting what they find curious and what types of experiences fill them with wonder. The purpose is to showcase these stories and inspire others. Second, I will document the historical role of curiosity and wonder in case studies of a few people's lives. While the stories of curiosity and wonder result from the subjects' observation of themselves, the case studies will result from my observations of their lives as learned through interviews. I will examine the lives of both people who think they exhibit curiosity and wonder and those who do not. The purpose is to document the diversity of influence that curiosity and wonder can have in the lives of different people.
Can the role of curiosity and wonder in your life change? In this section, I will follow the hypothesis that not only can the role of curiosity and wonder change, but it should. Everyone can be a little more curious and a little more full of wonder at the world and people around them. While I believe it is important to cultivate curiosity, especially in young children, this project will not provide concrete steps to accomplish this. Structured as a call to curiosity and wonder, it will instead conclude by providing background for a new understanding and appreciation for the power and necessity of curiosity and wonder.
First, the project will evolve on this website, providing people with a place to learn about curiosity and wonder and be inspired as each section of the project is realized. Second, the project will culminate with a written product including all the sections above. Finally, there will be a short presentation as required by the University Honors Program at NC State University.