Is curiosity the secret to better decision-making?

If you find yourself constantly making regrettable decisions, a new study might have the solution for you. Research conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Northwestern University has determined that people may be encouraged to make better choices if their curiosity is piqued. Specifically, they found that given the option between a healthy snack and junk food, study participants consistently chose the healthy snack as long as it came with tantalizing information. Another experiment found people were more likely to take the stairs if the answers to trivia questions they read near elevators  were posted in the stairwells. The conclusion: curiosity is a powerful motivator.

How this can benefit you

Many of us struggle to find motivation when it comes to making healthy decisions. From doing chores to exercising to improving our diets, we tend to put off doing what we need to in favor of doing what we want to. But what if you could harness your curiosity and use it as motivation? Imagine what you could achieve if you promised yourself that satisfaction each time you crossed something off your to-do list. Not only would you be more productive, but you’d probably also be happier.

Use curiosity to form positive habits

Wondering what’s going to happen in the next episode of House of Cards? The author of the study believes this is a perfect opportunity to use curiosity as motivation. Instead of binge-watching the entire series he suggests you only continue to the next episode after you’ve done something constructive, like working out or finishing housework. Making good decisions gets easier with repetition. If you can incorporate healthy habits into your daily routine, soon enough you will no longer see them as unpleasant. In fact, you might end up enjoying them.

More motivational tips

If the temptation of quality television isn’t enough to get you motivated, we have an extensive library of resources on motivation and goal-setting that you can access through your LifeSpeak account. If you don’t have a login, learn more about how we can help you here.


Also published on Medium.