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The seductive lure of curiosity: information as a motivationally salient reward

Fitzgibbon, L., Lau, J. K. L. and Murayama, K. (2020) The seductive lure of curiosity: information as a motivationally salient reward. Current opinion in behavioural sciences, 35. pp. 21-27. ISSN 2352-1546

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.cobeha.2020.05.014

Abstract/Summary

Humans are known to seek non-instrumental information, sometimes expending considerable effort or taking risks to receive it, e.g. “curiosity killed the cat”. This suggests that information is highly motivationally salient. In the current article, we first review recent empirical studies that demonstrated the strong motivational lure of curiosity – people will pay and risk electric shocks for non-instrumental information; and request information that has negative emotional consequences. Then we suggest that this seductive lure of curiosity may reflect a motivational mechanism that has been discussed in the literature of reward learning: incentive salience. We present behavioral and neuroscientific evidence in support of this idea and propose two areas requiring further investigation – how incentive salience for information is instigated; and individual differences in motivational vigor.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Perception and Action
ID Code:91910
Publisher:Elsevier

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