Morbid Curiosity, Meta, and Punishment for Cursing

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has three segments. Here’s how they begin:

  • Curiously Meta—Coltan Scrivner’s curiosity about morbid curiosity is ushering him to higher and higher realms. He wrote his PhD thesis on the subject and joined the Recreational Fear Lab at Aarhus University, Denmark. Scrivner defines morbid curiosity as “a motivation to seek out information about dangerous phenomena”.….
  • What the $%&#!? —“Researchers do not know how parents respond to children’s cursing or what effect parents’ responses have on children later in life.” Morbid curiosity, and maybe other flavours of curiosity, drew Timothy Jay, Krista King and Tim Duncan to write those words in their study called “Memories of punishment for cursing”.…