There are a wealth of curiosity resources available if you know where to look – and now you won’t need to. Look below for simple snippets, insightful tomes, and audacious audio to whet your curiosity appetite.


Curious? by Todd Kashdan – Experienced curiosity researcher Todd Kashdan invites you to reconsider how you look at the benefits, and even the detriments, of curiosity.

The Philosophy of Curiosity by Ilhan Inan – Containing a historical overview of the concept and a concept-analysis lens, this book likely has the most in-depth meditation on what curiosity is than any other source presently existing. If you enjoy philosophic content, take a look!

Why (What Makes Us Curious) by Mario Livio – If you’re looking for a light read that champions various aspects of curiosity while giving real-world examples to anchor your thoughts, check out this book by prolific author Mario Livio.

Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman – Culture critic Neil Postman provides a historical account of media over the centuries, and how the modern use of media (for him, 1985) affects our attention, our understanding, and our culture. This book remains sorely relevant as media has changed, and applies well to online media that has arisen in the last few decades.

The Scout Mindset by Julia Galef – Ever wonder why some people can gracefully react to criticism while others react with defensiveness? Or why do many who investigate a topic often come away strengthening their previous opinions? Read this book to find out more about ‘Scout’ and ‘Soldier’ mindsets, models for how we think about what we believe and inquire.

How to Have Impossible Conversations by Peter Boghossian and James Lindsay – How to have high stakes conversations with a focus on productivity and openness, in personal or professional environments.

Conflict, Arousal, and Curiosity by D.E. Berlyne – The classic work on curiosity from 1960, psychologist Berlyne wonders why humans and other animals express curiosity at all. Throughout the work, he relates curiosity to other topics such as novelty, complexity, and arousal.

Other books that might be promising but we haven’t looked into include Curiosity Studies a New Ecology of Knowledge with essays by various authors and Curiosity – How Science Became Interested in Everything by Phillip Ball.

Book Anti-Recommendations

The word ‘curiosity’ is sometimes used as a buzzword, and entire books have been written that we’re not very impressed with. Sometimes the book isn’t really about curiosity, but rather another topic such as education, children, or openness. These books might be good books, they’re just not good curiosity books.

Curious by Ian Leslie – This book was a little overdramatic on what curiosity promises, and holds firmly to the idea that adults lose their curiosity as they get older.

The Power of Curiosity – This book, written by executive coaches, promotes curiosity as a tool that can solve various business, personal, and conversational problems. The book, however, is less about curiosity, and more about asking continual questions instead of using accusations and stubbornness.


99% Invisible – Design, creation, and addressing the question “Why is this the way that it is?”

Radiolab – Science, philosophy, and storytelling

80000 Hours – Unusually in-depth conversations with people who are using their careers to solve the world’s most pressing problems

Hidden Brain – Discovering human behavior through the social sciences

The Ezra Klein Show – Complex conversations on a little bit of everything, current events, the near and far future

Ologies – Alie Ward takes time to interview researchers and others who have a huge focus in their lives. Look here for whole episodes about niche topics such as pain, gravesites, cider, and opossums.

Hi-Phi Nation – Looking at modern events through a mix of ancient and contemporary philosophy, Barry Lam interprets the world. This is one of the only podcasts in existence that provides in-depth philosophy for a general audience.

Stuff to Blow Your MindWhat do wishbones have to do with dinosaurs? Should we be worried about artificial intelligence taking over? Hosts Robert Faun and Joe McCormick discuss science, history, culture, and current events in this light-hearted podcast.


A Meditation on Curiosity by Eliezer Yudkowsky – An overview of the concept of curiosity and the highest potentials that it can reach.

The Complete Guide to Motivation by Scott H. Young – Within an engaging essay about motivation, there lies a section on curiosity and boredom.

Curiosity is the Secret to a Happy Life by Markham Heid – A review of the personal benefits of curiosity with plenty of quotes from curiosity researcher Todd Kashdan.

Get Curious by Luke Muehlhauser – An exercise-based approach that targets different ways that we can increase curiosity within ourselves, or prevent our bad habits from getting in the way. This is a great essay if you like thinking more technically.

Politics and the English Language by George Orwell – This classic essay by the famous novelist of 1984 and Animal Farm focuses on how we use language intentionally, and the hazards of using language in ways that depart from sense-making. While only tangentially related to curiosity, creating a language for ourselves that is specific and meaningful is a key part of asking specific and clear questions for curiosity to grapple with.

What Information Do You Need in Order to Change? by Shane Parrish – A reflection on asking for feedback and how self-change can come through what others can give.

Learning Tools

Brilliant – A learning platform that seeks to make complicated subjects more intuitive

Khan Academy – A free resource for learning (almost) any subject, from primary school subjects to upper-level graduate courses.

Coursera – Gather new skills and knowledge through college-level courses on various subjects

News Articles

What Can We Do Now by Various Authors – Writers from Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center discuss the divisive aftermath of the US presidential election, and what communities and families can do moving forward to build connection – including ‘leaning into curiosity’.

Schools are Missing What Matters About Learning by Scott Barry Kaufman – See the benefits of curiosity through a child-rearing lens, and consider how our education systems can be more involved.

How To Solve Any Problem Using Just Common Sense by Caroline Chen – How to use powers of estimation to start grappling with any complex problem.


Do Schools Kill Creativity by Ken Robinson – Author Ken Robinson speaks to the curiosity of children in his entertaining and humorous TED talk

How to Disagree Better – Peter Boghossian discusses how to enter good-faith disagreement and make progress in conversations that contain potential for conflict. He gives tips on confidence, scaling, and asking for explanations.

The Strange Politics of Disgust – How does a feeling of disgust link with our sense of wrongness and our political views? Psychologist David Pizarro talks about this in his TED talk.

Street Epistemology – Experiencing disagreement is difficult, and ‘street epistemology’ is a group of people and resources that hopes to give tools for people to explore what they believe and why they believe it.

The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives – How does the way we think change how we interact with political beliefs? Why do some people end up being liberal, and others conservative? Psychologist Jonathan Haidt discusses moral psychology in his TED talk.

Academic Articles

Bal PM, Veltkamp M. How does fiction reading influence empathy? an experimental investigation on the role of emotional transportation. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055341

BERLYNE DE. A theory of human curiosity. British Journal of Psychology General Section. 1954;45(3):180-191. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8295.1954.tb01243.x

Gallagher MW, Lopez SJ. Curiosity and well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology. 2007;2(4):236-248. doi:10.1080/17439760701552345

Jirout J, Klahr D. Children’s Scientific Curiosity: In Search of an operational definition of an elusive concept. Developmental Review. 2012;32(2):125-160. doi:10.1016/j.dr.2012.04.002

Jovanovic V, Brdaric D. Did curiosity kill the cat? evidence from subjective well-being in adolescents. Personality and Individual Differences. 2012;52(3):380-384. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2011.10.043

Kahan DM, Peters E, Dawson EC, Slovic P. Motivated numeracy and enlightened self-government. SSRN Electronic Journal. 2013. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2319992

Kashdan TB, Disabato DJ, Goodman FR, McKnight PE. Five-dimensional curiosity scale revised. PsycTESTS Dataset. 2020. doi:10.1037/t79098-000

Kashdan TB, Rose P, Fincham FD. Curiosity and exploration: Facilitating positive subjective experiences and personal growth opportunities. Journal of Personality Assessment. 2004;82(3):291-305. doi:10.1207/s15327752jpa8203_05

Kashdan TB, Silvia PJ. Curiosity and interest: The benefits of thriving on novelty and challenge. The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology. 2009:366-374. doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195187243.013.0034

Lauriola M, Litman JA, Mussel P, De Santis R, Crowson HM, Hoffman RR. Epistemic curiosity and self-regulation. Personality and Individual Differences. 2015;83:202-207. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.04.017

Litman J. Curiosity and the pleasures of learning: Wanting and liking new information. Cognition & Emotion. 2005;19(6):793-814. doi:10.1080/02699930541000101

Loewenstein G. The Psychology of Curiosity: A review and reinterpretation. Psychological Bulletin. 1994;116(1):75-98. doi:10.1037/0033-2909.116.1.75

Matz SC. Personal Echo Chambers: Openness-to-experience is linked to higher levels of psychological interest diversity in large-scale behavioral data. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 2021. doi:10.1037/pspp0000324

Redlawsk DP, Civettini AJ, Emmerson KM. The affective tipping point: Do motivated Reasoners ever “get it”? Political Psychology. 2010;31(4):563-593. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2010.00772.x

Sternberg RJ. Novelty-seeking, novelty-finding, and the developmental continuity of Intelligence. Intelligence. 1981;5(2):149-155. doi:10.1016/0160-2896(81)90005-2

Maier NR. The quality of group decisions as influenced by the discussion leader. Principles of human relations: Applications to management.:301-325. doi:10.1037/11194-010

Strickler R. Deliberate with the enemy? polarization, social identity, and attitudes toward disagreement. Political Research Quarterly. 2017;71(1):3-18. doi:10.1177/1065912917721371

Zhao P, Lee DL. How much novelty is relevant? Proceedings of the 39th International ACM SIGIR conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval. 2016. doi:10.1145/2911451.2911488

Henley A, DiGennaro Reed F. Should you order the feedback sandwich? efficacy of feedback sequence and timing. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management. 2015;35(3-4):321-335. doi:10.1080/01608061.2015.1093057

Kang MJ, Hsu M, Krajbich IM, et al. The Wick in the candle of learning: Epistemic curiosity activates reward circuitry and enhances memory. SSRN Electronic Journal. 2008. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1308286

Lauriola M, Litman JA, Mussel P, De Santis R, Crowson HM, Hoffman RR. Epistemic curiosity and self-regulation. Personality and Individual Differences. 2015;83:202-207. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.04.017

More Meaning of Life Topics

If you’re interested in exploring more topics that are curiosity-adjacent, A Meaning of Life has a wealth of writing and resources. When thinking about your next step, consider looking at:

  • Discovery / Exploration – One of our cornerstones of meaning, discovery and exploration are aspects that can help you find purpose and developing your self.
  • Friendship – If you’re interested in how the relational aspects of curiosity ca
  • Wisdom and Maturity – If you want to know a little more about what living a life of curiosity, activity, and experience can look like, Wisdom and Maturity can provide insight.
  • Listening – Taking time to listen to others in conversation is a great way to build relationships and knowledge that support in a curious life.

Curiosity Cultivation of Curiosity Curiosity Stoppers Certainty and Mystery The Curiosity Environment Personal Curiosity Curiosity Practice and Exercises Curiosity Resources