‘Curious people solve problems creatively’

Sat 19 Nov 2016

People who show strong curiosity traits on personality tests perform better on creative tasks, according to a new study.

This is especially true for those with a strong diversive curiosity trait — curiosity associated with the interest in exploring unfamiliar topics and learning something new, said the study published in Personality and Individual Differences .

The findings contribute to a growing body of evidence suggesting that testing for curiosity traits may be useful for employers, especially those seeking to fill complex jobs, said lead author of the study Jay Hardy, Assistant Professor, College of Business, the Oregon State University.

“This research suggests it may be useful for employers to measure curiosity, and, in particular, diversive curiosity, when hiring new employees,” Mr. Hardy said.

Diversive curiosity is a trait well-suited to early stage problem-solving because it leads to gathering a large amount of information relevant to the problem. That information can be used to generate and evaluate new ideas in later stages of creative problem-solving.

People with specific curiosity traits, or the curiosity that reduces anxiety and fills gaps in understanding, tend to be more problem-focused.

For the study, researchers asked 122 undergraduate college students, to take personality tests that measured their diversive and specific curiosity traits. In order to arrive at their findings, the researchers then asked the students to complete a task involving the development of a marketing plan for a retailer. — IANS

Study suggests that testing for curiosity traits may be useful for employers during the hiring process


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