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Curiosity and pleasure

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3 Author(s)
Perlovsky, L.I. ; Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA, USA ; Bonniot-Cabanac, M.-C. ; Cabanac, M.

We discuss the hypothesis that acquisition of knowledge is a deeply rooted psychological need. But so is the desire for fast decisions and for minimizing cognitive efforts. There is a controversy between maximizing knowledge rationally for decision making or using Tversky and Kahneman heuristic mechanisms. Here we explore a basic aspect of learning, does it bring pleasure? We report experimental results showing that acquisition of knowledge is hedonically pleasing. Thus, the satisfaction of curiosity through acquiring knowledge brings pleasure and could improve decision making. Such a mechanism would confirm the hypothesis that curiosity is a fundamental and ancient motivation.

Published in:

Neural Networks (IJCNN), The 2010 International Joint Conference on

Date of Conference:

18-23 July 2010