How does openness affect your behavior? (2023)

Openness, often referred to as openness/intellect or openness to experience, is one of theseThe Big Five Personality Factors🇧🇷 The Big Five theory suggests that personality consists of five main dimensions. Each dimension represents a continuum, so it can be high, low, or somewhere in between on each feature.

The Big Five Factors

In addition to the opening, the Big Five include:

  • conscientiousness
  • Extroversion
  • compatibility
  • neuroticism

This taxonomy of traits is a useful tool for thinking about personality, and research suggests that these five dimensions may play a role in predicting life outcomes in areas such as physical health, mental health, school, work and social relationships.

People who tend to be open-minded are more willing to accept new things, new ideas, and new experiences. They areOpenand they approach new things with curiosity and tend to look for new things. You tend to seek new adventures, experiences, and creative endeavors. They are also very good at thinking about different concepts and ideas and making connections between them.

On the other hand, people who lack openness tend to prefer routine, tradition, and familiarity. You approach new things very cautiously and you prefer perseverance. People with very low scores on the Openness trait are often seen as rigid and narrow-minded. You may find it difficult to deal with change.

People who lack this trait may miss out on opportunities to try new things, including changes that could lead to academic or career advancement. Rather than move to a new place to attend a different school or make a career change to find a more rewarding job, they can stick with what is routine and familiar.

How adaptation helps us change

(Video) The Six Facets of Openness to Experience (Five Factor Model)

Common opening characteristics

According to one definition:

“Openness/Intellect reflects imagination, creativity, intellectual curiosity, and appreciation for aesthetic experiences. In general, openness/intellect refers to the ability and interest in perceiving and processing complex stimuli.

People high in this quality are more likely to seek new experiences. They like new, different and surprising things. They are also more likely to pay attention to their inner feelings and experiences.

People with a large openness tend to have many of the following characteristics:

  • creative
  • intelligent and knowledgeable
  • Pay close attention to mental images.
  • Interested in new things
  • You like to hear new ideas.
  • He likes to think about abstract concepts.
  • Generally more liberal and open to diversity.
  • Interest in artistic activities.
  • Adventurous

Openness to experience also tends to correlate with another psychological trait known as absorption, which involves the ability to delve into imagination or fantasy. This construct may also be associated with hypnotic susceptibility or the tendency to be hypnotizable.


A person's tendency to be open or closed to experience is likely influenced by genetics and experience. In psychology, this is often called the "nature or nurture" debate. The nature side of the debate argues that certain psychological tendencies are largely caused by hereditary factors, while the educational side of the debate suggests that experience and environmental factors play the larger role.

Nature vs. Food Debates

Twin studies of the Big Five personality traits suggest that heredity accounts for 40-60% of individual variation in traits. While there isn't much research on the specific causes of each trait, one study found that 21% of differences in openness between individuals is due to heredity. Another study suggested that about 10% of the variation in novelty searches is due to genetics.

How is the aperture measured?

Like the other four personality factors, openness to experience is also often measured.self-disclosure holdings🇧🇷 These questionnaires usually contain a series of statements, and then people choose the answer that best reflects their degree of agreement with the statement.

(Video) Personality: “Big 5” Traits (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism)

For example, a typical inventory might contain a series of statements similar to the following, and respondents choose an answer between 1 (Strongly disagree) and 5 (Strongly agree).

How open are you to experiences?

If you're curious about how you would rate yourself on this personality trait, this informal quiz can give you a general idea. Examples of statements you might find related to opening are:

  • I am good at proposing new ideas.
  • I tend to think about the deeper meaning of things.
  • I'm curious how things work.
  • I like to think about theoretical ideas.
  • I have many artistic hobbies.
  • I attach great importance to aesthetics and art.
  • I have an active imagination.
  • I like being with different groups of people.
  • I like to have philosophical discussions.
  • I often daydream or get distracted by fantasies.
  • I like going to cultural events, art museums and poetry readings.
  • I'd rather have a theoretical discussion than chat.

If you completely agree with most or all of these statements, then you are probably very open to the experience. If you moderately agree with some or all of these statements, you're probably like most people and somewhere in the middle of the openness spectrum. If you disagree with all or most of these statements, your openness may be less.

The advantage of this type of measurement is that self-reports are usually very fast and easy to manage. However, a potential drawback is the propensity of respondents to sometimes respond in a more socially desirable way. In other cases, people choose answers that reflect how they want to see themselves, instead of choosing answers that reflect their true behavior.

How does openness affect behavior?

Openness is often seen as a positive trait. Open people have a higher level ofintrinsic motivationSeek knowledge for yourself. You are curious about the world and want to learn more about how it works. They are also eager to try new things so they can better adapt and thrive when faced with changes in their environment, situation, or relationships.

That's not to say that openness is without its drawbacks. Because people with this strong trait seek out new things, they may also be more willing to engage in risky behavior. Interestingly, however, some studies have linked reduced opening with an increased risk of drug use.


Of the five traits described by the Big Five theory, openness to experience is the only personality factor that research has consistently linked.creativity🇧🇷 People with a great openness tend to be more creative in general, are more likely to strive for creative achievement, engage in divergent thinking, and engage in creative hobbies.

One study found that openness predicted creative achievement in the arts, while high intellect predicted creative achievement in the sciences.Artists and scientists generally do better on tests for this trait than people who work in other professions.

(Video) The Big Five Personality Traits

learning and knowledge

Because people with a high degree of openness are interested in new things, they are often motivated to try new ideas and acquire new knowledge. Research has found that openness to experience is correlated with intelligence, as well as what is known as crystallized intelligence. This type of intelligence includes the ability to use all the facts and knowledge that a person acquires throughout his life.

Openness to experience has also been associated with the so-called need to know.The need for cognition is a tendency to engage in activities that require thinking, including thinking of ideas and engaging in mentally complex tasks. People with a high need for cognition enjoy doing things like solving puzzles, generating solutions to problems, and analyzing ideas.

When listening to an argument, people with high levels of cognition tend to focus on aspects of the ideas themselves, while people with low levels of awareness need to pay more attention to things like the taste of the person presenting the argument.

What is cognition?

political attitudes

Studies have also found that openness is related to social and political attitudes. People who are very open also tend to be more politically liberal. They are more open and accepting of people from different social, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Studies have also found that openness is negatively correlated with right-wing authoritarianism and conservative political views.

Although openness is associated with certain social and political attitudes, it is important to remember that the development of such beliefs is much more complex than a single personality trait. While the traditional view has been that personality traits play a role in shaping later political attitudes, some research suggests that the correlation between the two may be the result of underlying genetic factors.

Such studies suggest that other characteristics, such as conscientiousness, the need for order, intolerance of ambiguity, the need for isolation, and fear of threats, also play an important role in shaping general political opinions.


Openness can also play a role in relationships. While directness seems to play a less central role than some of the other personality factors, it has been shown to play a significant role when it comes to sex. People with a high Openness tend to be more informed about sexual relationships, have more open attitudes towards sex, and have more sexual experiences.

(Video) The Big 5 Personality Test - Openness

The research also found a link between women's high levels of openness and their level of sexual satisfaction in their marriages. Another study suggested that openness plays a role in determining the frequency of sex between couples.

How common is the opening?

As with other qualities, openness to experience and knowledge represents a continuum. Some people tend to be very high on this quality and others very low, but most people fall somewhere in between. There is little information on what percentage of people tend to be high, low, or average on this trait.

However, psychologist Robert McCrae, one of the leading researchers whose work has contributed to understanding the five personality factors, points out that openness tends to follow a normal distribution curve, with most people classified as mediocre and a number lower on average. very good high or very low performance.

McCrae and his colleagues also found that all five factors vary with age. While everyone is different, her research suggests that openness to experimentation peaks around age 19. These results suggest that although younger people are more willing to accept change, this openness to new ideas and experiences may decrease with age.

A study that examined cross-cultural differences in personality traits found that the nation a person lived in had a statistically significant impact on openness. Results from self-report measures of the Big Five traits found that people from Chile and Belgium had the highest scores on openness, while respondents from Japan and Hong Kong had the lowest scores. Regional analyzes found that East Asia performs worse than all other world regions in terms of openness, while South America performs better than all other world regions.

A word from Verywell

Candor can play a role in many areas of life, including your creative pursuits, your political ideology, and your attitudes toward sex. However, it's important to remember that personality traits like openness are just one of many factors that shape your life. Personality has been linked to a variety of life outcomes, including happiness, relationship quality, and job satisfaction, but other factors, including situational and social circumstances, also play a role.

What is personality?


1. How do the Five Factor Personality Traits Affect Career Success?
(Dr. Todd Grande)
2. 2016 Personality Lecture 14: Openness and Intelligence
(Jordan B Peterson)
3. Openness to Experience | Openness/Intellect | The Big 5 Personality Traits
(Oliver Beuthin)
(Maxwell Leadership)
5. Personality trait: Openness to Experience (Intellect, Creativity & Madness)
(Psycho Query)
6. How Openness to Experience Impacts Your Life
(Peaceful Minds)
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