Cu­rios­ity may in­flu­ence peo­ple to make smarter de­ci­sions

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Cu­rios­ity could be an ef­fec­tive tool to en­tice peo­ple into mak­ing smarter and health­ier de­ci­sions, a re­cent study has re­vealed. “Our re­search shows that arous­ing peo­ple’s cu­rios­ity can in­flu­ence their choices by steer­ing them away from tempt­ing de­sires, like un­healthy foods or tak­ing the el­e­va­tor and to­ward less tempt­ing, but health­ier op­tions, such as buy­ing more fresh pro­duce or tak­ing the stairs,” said Evan Pol­man, re­searcher at Univer­sity of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son, in a state­ment. Pol­man and his col­leagues con­ducted ex­per­i­ments to test how rais­ing peo­ple’s cu­rios­ity might af­fect their choices.

In each case, arous­ing cu­rios­ity re­sulted in a no­tice­able be­hav­iour change.

For the study, the re­searchers ap­proached 200 peo­ple and gave them a choice be­tween two for­tune cook­ies– one plain and one dipped in choco­late and cov­ered in sprin­kles.

Half the par­tic­i­pants were given no ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion and half were told that the plain cookie con­tains a for­tune that the re­searchers would re­veal.

Par­tic­i­pants whose cu­rios­ity aroused (i.e who were told that the plain cookie con­tained a for­tune) over­whelm­ingly chose the plain cookie by 71 per cent.

In con­trast, when par­tic­i­pants were told noth­ing, 80 per cent chose the choco­late­dipped cookie.

“By telling peo­ple if they choose the or­di­nary cookie they’ll learn some­thing about them­selves via the for­tune in­side of it, it piqued their cu­rios­ity, and there­fore they were more likely to pick the plain cookie over the more tempt­ing choco­late-dipped op­tion,” Pol­man added.

The re­sults sug­gested that us­ing in­ter­ven­tions based on cu­rios­ity gaps has the po­ten­tial to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion in de­sired be­hav­iours for which peo­ple of­ten lack mo­ti­va­tion. Huff­in­g­ton Post

Photo: In­dian Ex­press

Us­ing in­ter­ven­tions based on cu­rios­ity gaps has the po­ten­tial to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion.

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