Intelligence is an influential factor that helps determine a child’s performance at school. But what about curiosity? Psychological scientists have started looking at factors other than intelligence that could influence how some students do better than others, writes Yahoo News.
A new study has found that curiosity has a large effect on academic performance. Having gathering the data from about 200 studies with a total of about 50,000 students. The researchers found that when put together, conscientiousness and curiosity had as big an effect on performance as intelligence.
The study, which appears in the journal Perspectives in Psychological Science, found that curiosity and conscientiousness are as important as intelligence in getting good grades.
“It’s not a huge surprise if you think of it, that hard work would be a predictor of academic performance,” says co-author Sophie von Stumm of the University of Edinburgh in the UK.
“Curiosity is basically a hunger for exploration,” she said in a journal news release. “If you’re intellectually curious, you’ll go home, you’ll read the books. If you’re perceptually curious, you might go traveling to foreign countries and try different foods.”
And the study shows that both types of curiosity can benefit students.
“Teachers have a great opportunity to inspire curiosity in their students, to make them engaged and independent learners. That is very important,” von Stumm said.
Employers should take note. The study also indicates that people with a strong sense of curiosity may be hungry for a constant flow of new learning tasks while working.
“It’s easy to hire someone who has the done the job before and hence, knows how to work the role,” von Stumm said.
“But it’s far more interesting to identify those people who have the greatest potential for development, i.e., the curious ones.”