I am looking for a term that describes a specific type of curiosity, within the context of one's "profession", or "area of expertise".

In other words, a level of curiosity that is eg. felt by medical researchers looking for a new cure to a known disease, or mathematicians searching for a new formula. A kind of "self-motivated" curiosity.

  • 1
    I suppose 'dedicated interest' works on various levels, but it's not a fixed phrase. Oct 9, 2017 at 11:41
  • 3
    "thirst for knowledge", or one of the other entries from thesaurus.com/browse/curiosity?s=t ? Oct 9, 2017 at 13:27
  • @MaxWilliams That's actually a really good answer. Post it and I'll accept!
    – Klangen
    Oct 9, 2017 at 13:34
  • 1
    I don't think it's really worthy of an answer, given that it's on the thesaurus page, and looking in the thesaurus should be the first step for a question like this. Oct 9, 2017 at 14:10
  • @MaxWilliams How noble, to refuse the reward for successfully helping someone. I guess I'll wait until someone else posts it then accept.
    – Klangen
    Oct 9, 2017 at 14:21

2 Answers 2


'Investigative' is as close as can I manage for you.

If there were such a word as 'investigativeness' it would technically fit your actual request, but it would be a cumbersome word to use, I must say.

It's colloquial link to investigative journalism and to forensic work gives it a definite place in a professional context.


'Analytical' is also possible.


But I am finding that words which describe professional dispositions seem to attach to the job, not the person.

Analyst and Investigator are the roles involved but we do not have words which state these as qualities in the worker.

An 'analytical mind', yes. An 'investigative disposition,' yes. But not as noun qualities, I fear.


Academic interest


In this document, academic interests and attitudes are defined as a student's relatively stable or enduring predisposition, positive affective orientation, and tendency to persevere when working on certain specific academic content or task domains (Corno et al., 2002; Eccles & Wigfiled, 2002; Renninger & Hidi, 2002).]1

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