The Role of Uncertainty in Models of Epistemic Curiosity



The psychological research strategies of studying epistemic curiosity traditionally consider four factors of motivation to search for new information: the degree of familiarity with the subject, the expected value of information, the cultural framework of tolerance to new information and the features of the material resources of the epistemic situation. A comparison of these models shows that regardless of where the study of curiosity begins — in behavior, in mental processes, in personal characteristics or in interaction with the environment — the place of uncertainty in the conceptual system remains the same. Uncertainty is one of the key characteristics of modern culture, which raises the question of the degree of influence of its experiences on cognitive processes. The purpose of the article is to review foreign studies on the connection of epistemic curiosity with the experience of uncertainty. The article contains the analysis of the four main models of epistemic curiosity and the suggestion of the new (unifying) model, according to which curiosity is a tool for "managing uncertainty" in order to adapt in the most effective way to a complex, unpredictable environment.

General Information

Keywords: uncertainty, epistemic curiosity, diversive curiosity, specific curiosity, associative model of curiosity, probabilistic model of curiosity, socio-anthropological model of curiosity, eco-cognitive model of curiosity, cultural background

Journal rubric: General Psychology

Article type: review article


Funding. The work was funded by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (Strategic Academic Leadership Program «Priority 2030») within the framework of the research 490-99_2021-2023 «Images of the Future and creative practices: an anthropological analysis of social design and scientific creativity in conditions of uncertainty» on the basis of Lobachevsky Nizhny Novgorod State University.

Received: 08.06.2022


For citation: Golubinskaya A.V. The Role of Uncertainty in Models of Epistemic Curiosity [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2022. Vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 127–135. DOI: 10.17759/jmfp.2022110411. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Anastasia V. Golubinskaya, PhD in Philosophy, the researcher, Social anthropology Lab, National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhny Novgorod, Nizhniy Novgorod, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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