THE TWO FACES OF CURIOSITY IN CREATIVE COGNITION: Curiosity1, Curiosity2 (and Their Interaction)

Janet Metcalfe, William James Jacobs

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we propose that the construct of curiosity is not monolithic but rather is comprised of two distinct, and sometimes opposing, components that we call Curiosity1 and Curiosity2. Curiosity1, which is sometimes called epistemic curiosity, is the kind of curiosity that is most frequently investigated in the laboratory. People are given questions, puzzles, or problems to consider or solve and are asked how curious they are to know the solution. Empirical studies directed at this kind of curiosity indicate it is intensely goal-directed and driven by the feeling state, or metacognition, that a solution is imminent. In contrast, Curiosity2 may be more aligned with common usage of the term as a trait involving an exploratory, playful, and questing spirit. Curiosity2 may involve knowledge acquisition, but that consequence - while of great importance for creativity - is incidental. Curiosity2, itself, may even be goal-averse, but, at the very least, its hallmark is playfulness and a lack of constraint by the strictures of achieving an explicit proximal goal or reward. In many creative efforts, both forms may be necessary. We argue that, although the two kinds of curiosity are conceptually distinct, they interact synergistically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge International Handbook of Creative Cognition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000917284
ISBN (Print)9780367443788
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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