The Big 5 Personality Traits: “Openness”

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The “Big 5” personality traits are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism, or OCEAN. The Big 5 is considered by many contemporary psychologists to be a reliable way to describe differences in personalities and is arguably the basis of modern personality research.

Openness

Also known as openness to experience, people who are high in openness are known to be very imaginative and have high levels of creativity. They are generally perceived as being unpredictable. Individuals that are high in openness tend to be artists as their creativity and intellectual curiosity causes them to loathe rigidity and strict routines, preferring to seek a variety of experiences to avoid boredom. However, they are also more likely to experiment with drugs or other dangerous activities and to hold unconventional beliefs.

On the other hand, people who are low in openness can sometimes be seen as close-minded and too practical. People who are not open to experiences prefer to be cautious instead of satisfying their curiosity, thus they are less likely to engage in risky behaviors. Overall, people who are low in openness find consistency to be more valuable than novelty.

Final Words

The openness trait is somewhat controversial as there are still some disagreements in interpreting the openness factor. High openness and low openness are not meant to be seen as traits that are better or worse than the other, they are simply characteristics that have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Creativity and practicality are both very useful traits. It is worth mentioning, however, that modern society tends to reward people who are lower in openness, as they are seen as easier to control and deal with. This is a mistake as creative people through their inventions and discoveries have improved the way we think about and interact with the world.


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