A scribed image of Dr. Diane Hamilton discussing the factors that prevent us from being curious. Drawn by Ludic Creatives.

Diane Hamilton on what keeps us from being curious

Dr. Diane Hamilton is an author, researcher, speaker and radio show host.

What if you’re not curious?

My research focuses on what keeps people from being curious. What I really thought was fascinating was there is a lot of research out there that’ll tell you if you’re curious or not, but then what if you’re not? I wanted to fix that. For example, my students didn’t seem to embrace a high level of curiosity at times. They kind of wanted me to just tell them how to do something without trying to figure it out.

Fear, assumptions, technology, environment

I found that there are four factors that keep people from being curious. I came up with the acronym, F.A.T.E. It stands for fear, assumptions, technology and environment.

Preventing productivity

When we think about F.A.T.E in organisations, it opens up discussions that no one really has had at work before. This is tied into how engaged people feel with their job. They’re not doing things that they feel passionate about.

I’ve had many guests on my show who are motivation experts and even curiosity experts, and it doesn’t matter who I talk to on the show, everyone will agree that curiosity is the spark.

How to go beyond F.A.T.E.?

Go through each of the fear, assumptions, technology and environment as a checklist.

For fear, list some of the things that keep you from asking questions in a meeting. Is it failure, is it embarrassment, is it loss of control? Get specific and come up with little ideas of what you can do the next time. For your assumptions, think about what it is that is making you disinterested or apathetic or finding something unnecessary? What keeps you from exploring new things? Thinking about technology, do you over or under utilise it? Is it because it is just too much trouble? You’ve not been trained? Are you overwhelmed? And lastly, for environment, think of how your education; teachers, family, friends, workers, peers have had an impact on you exploring curiously. If you write those down, anytime you have an answer to some of these things, then you can create an action plan, ‘Well, here’s what I’m going to do today to overcome that!’

A scribed image of Dr. Diane Hamilton discussing the factors that prevent us from being curious. Drawn by Ludic Creatives.
Dr. Diane Hamilton on the factors that prevent us from being curious


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