The Essential Difference between ‘Being Curious’ and ‘Taking an Interest’

August 12, 2016 by R A Z G O

There’s an important difference among the ways we approach our own lack of knowledge. When we want to know something, are we satisfied once we’ve found the answer? Do we stop reading the detective novel once we’ve discovered who committed the crime, or are we suddenly intrigued by new questions? Psychological researcher Suzanne Hidi says this difference — between curiosity and interest — can help us understand why some people appear far more motivated and engaged in their lives than others. Are you curious in life, or are you interested?



Suzanne E Hidi is a Founding Fellow of the Senior College at the University of Toronto where she was an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology. She taught courses on cognitive and developmental psychology, as well as conducted academic writing and research. Her most current research and publications focus on motivational issues in general and the power of interest to motivate and engage in specific. She also advocates for the integration of psychological and neuroscientific research on important issues such as the effect of rewards on human activities.