Every one of us is aware of how our personality traits affect the way we think, feel, as well as act. However, nowadays, some studies suggest the idea that our perception of the world may also depend on our personality traits.
The categories of the big five personality traits are conscientiousness, neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, as well as the ability to keep an open mind to some new and different experiences. In other words, one of those categories is somehow more dominant on us. We perceive the world according to the category which we possess.
There is one study from recently that focused on the ability to keep an open mind to some new experiences and examined the difference in outlook between open-minded and close-minded people. According to the psychological evidence of the study, the quality of ‘openness’ has a lot of deciding power about in what kind of reality one individual lives.
Open-minded people live in a completely different reality than others.
Openness is not a set quality, but it actually includes keeping an open mind, trying some new things, as well as meeting some new people — basically a desire of exploring and pushing the boundaries of what you know, as well as what you have.
Open-minded people are very gregarious. The study called ‘Seeing it both ways’, was conducted at Melbourne University. A hundred and twenty-three participants from different backgrounds were examined.
Their character and their views were measured, and the test for open-mindedness focused on five categories, which we already mentioned: conscientiousness, neuroticism, extroversion, agreeableness, and the ability to keep an open mind to new experiences
Then, they tested who experienced a visual perception phenomenon which was called “binocular rivalry.” This phenomenon happens when each eye is shown some different image, in this case, a red patch in one eye and a green patch to the other eye.
A lot of people switch back and forwards between the two different images, as the brain can only perceive one at a time. But some people merge the two images into a unified red-green patch.
Most of the participants that looked at both patches together were the ones that scored higher on openness.
According to the researchers, this actually makes some sense as openness to new experiences is linked with creativity. As these people are fine with keeping their mind open to experience, learning, as well as perception, they easily create new mentally routes inside their head. Therefore, they develop some new ideas with connecting things a normal person would not connect.
This finding had also been mentioned in an old study from 2015. Therefore, open-mindedness helps individuals to attain some higher planes of thought and calmer resting state.