Openness to Experience

They do not typically engage in prolonged abstract thinking, and seldom consider philosophical issues, such as the meaning of belief systems and ideologies. They do not find it necessary to attend cultural events such as movies, concerts, dance recitals, plays, poetry readings, gallery openings and art shows, although they may do such things on occasion. They are less likely to enjoy writing, and tend to stay away from complex problems and abstract ideas.

They read somewhat less than the typical person, and tend to stick to more mainstream material when they do so. They have a narrower range of interests, and a more conventional vocabulary. They can think abstractly and learn when necessary, but are less intrinsically interested in doing so. They come up with new ideas relatively infrequently, and may sometimes have difficulty getting their thoughts across to others (particularly if they average or below in extraversion). People moderately lower in openness tend to stay on the beaten path, and find satisfaction in the tried-and-true (particularly if they are high in orderliness). They tend more often to avoid difficult intellectual problems or challenges.

People moderately low in openness to experience can often adapt well to situations or occupations that are more routinized and predictable. Because of this, they have less trouble fitting in at the bottom of hierarchies. They can be better suited than those who are more open to entry-level, repetitive, rote positions, because they are rarely compelled to think up new ways to do things. It is not common for them to be considered creative or revolutionary thinkers. In consequence, they rarely shake things up, particularly if they are also agreeable and less assertive.

Individuals moderately low in openness to experience tend to be less entrepreneurial in spirit and more appreciative of conventional employment (particularly if average or above in conscientiousness). They have less interest in creating new ventures, whether for profit, curiosity, or personal transformation. At least moderately high levels of openness to experience appear necessary to the formation and leadership of business and other forms of complex organization, although conscientiousness appears required for the attention to detail and process management that such organizations also always need.

People moderately lower in openness to experience tend to have a narrower, more focused range of interests. This makes it somewhat easier for them to settle on a single path in life, to specialize to a necessary degree, and to create an integrated identity (unless they are very high or above in neuroticism and/or very low or below in conscientiousness). People moderately lower in openness less frequently undermine their own convictions or beliefs by excessive questioning (particularly if they are average or below in neuroticism). They tend not to be intellectual rebels, revolutionaries or protestors.

Openness to experience is the dimension that best predicts political allegiance (with conscientiousness, particularly the aspect of orderliness, coming in at second place). Those who are liberal, politically, are very much more likely to be high in openness to experience than conservatives.

Women and men differ very little in openness to experience at the trait level, although there are differences in the aspect levels.

Trait openness to experience is made up of the aspects of intellect and openness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *