A Big Five Personality Trait
T. Franklin Murphy | August 1, 2021 (edited February 28, 2022)
Openness to Experience:
Openness is one of the five personality traits of the Big Five personality theory. Openness scores refer to a person's openness to new experiences and ability to accommodate differences in other people. Openness to experience is comfort with exploring new ideas, driven by a hunger for knowledge and love of learning.
An open-minded (high scores in openness) person enjoys trying new things. They are imaginative, curious, and creative. Scoring low in openness is behaviorally expressed in strict routines, literalness, practicality, and fear of the unknown.
People with high levels of openness are more likely to seek out a variety of experiences, be comfortable with the unfamiliar, and pay attention to their inner feelings more than those who are less open to novelty. They tend to exhibit high levels of curiosity and often enjoy being surprised.
Openness and Emotions
Openness also correlates with more attunement to feelings. Many studies have found a correlation between high openness and wellbeing and overall happiness. Perhaps, this is, in part, because of the healthy relationship with emotions. Also, well-being may be positively impacted by the benefits of high openness on intimate relationships.
Sub-Traits of Openness
Within each of the Big Five personality traits is six sub-traits. The sub-traits of the openness domain are:
Personality Characteristics of High Openness
Our individual mix of traits is a grand compilation of biological and environmental factors. The nature nurture debate bleeds into all behavioral expressions, especially personality. Many personality traits are resistant to change, but they do change with time.
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