Curiosity and Learning…

In a resent study published in Neuron, researchers identified that curiosity on a topic makes learning about that topic easier, and that once an individual is curious they are more apt or open to learning so they learn faster on unrelated topics. Finally, people who learned when they were curious had better memory retention.

Curiosity and the satisfaction from learning is an intrinsic motivator, and triggers a similar dopamine reward response that is triggered when receiving extrinsic rewards. Perhaps this is where the old saying curiosity killed the cat came from?

Curiosity is a common methodology in validation and compliance work. Looking for the why and examining the how behind what we observe and document. We review all test documents, we challenge what we observe and we ask what does this mean or what is the significance of this event.

Over the past year there have been a number of examples where curiosity seems to be lacking.  Life science and compounding pharmacy facilities have been issued warning letters for what one could consider an obvious lack of curiosity.  How do we ensure our auditors, operators, supervisors have a “curious” mindset and are willing to go beyond the simple to understand the why and how?