ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2015, Vol. 23 ›› Issue (1): 132-141.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2015.00132

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Why Are Humans Curious? Concept, Functions and Theories of Interpersonal Curiosity

LI Tianran1; YU Guoliang2   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology) (2 Institute of Psychology, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China)
  • Received:2014-04-17 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-15
  • Contact: YU Guoliang, E-mail:


Interpersonal curiosity is the desire for new information about people, including details about others’ life experiences, their public and private activities, and also their thoughts, feelings, and motives. It is influenced by gender, age, personal state, personality and culture values etc. It plays a positive role in building and maintaining social relationship, personality judgment, cultural learning, maintaining social norms. It can be explained by the intrinsic theory, information-gap theory, interest-deprivation theory, and social comparison theory. Presently there is not much research on interpersonal curiosity. Future research can be conducted from life-long development perspective. The interpersonal curiosity in the context of internet also need be studied, and the measurement of interpersonal curiosity need be improved. Empirical research should be strengthened, in which the cultural influence needs to be taken into consideration.

Key words: interpersonal curiosity, gossip, measurement, social function, interest-deprivation theory