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Intellectual Curiosity Predicts Academic Success, Study Finds

Intellectual curiosity is a strong predictor of future academic performance, says an article in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. That conclusion was based on a meta-analysis of 200 previous studies of students who rated their own intellectual curiosity, among other factors. Intellectual curiosity has as large an effect on academic performance as conscientiousness, though not as much as intelligence, the article says. That finding lends credence to the idea that “a ‘hungry mind’ is a core determinant of individual differences in academic achievement,” write Sophie von Stumm of the University of Edinburgh and two co-authors. Universities should encourage more curiosity among their students and pay greater attention to the trait when making admissions decisions, the authors suggest.

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