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HEALTH & WELLBEING : Personality traits series #2 OPENNESS TO EXPERIENCE

Openness to experience is a personality trait that demonstrates a combination of general curiosity and also appreciation for a variety of things. The individual who is open is more likely to be enthusiastic or curious  about new ideas and actions, they often take a shining to things that are unfamiliar to them and they like being surprised.

This means that people who are higher in openness are creative due to their curiousness about the world and make for good artistic-types due to seeing abstraction where others who score lower in openness may not. They are capable of thinking outside of the box and can approach problems in a multitude of ways.

Generally, those who score higher in openness report higher levels of wellbeing regarding their relationships with others.

On the overall, each big five trait – including openness to experience – have positive and negative aspects to them. It would appear that being open can be mostly beneficial and while this might be true, there is also a potential downside to openness: it can lead to a higher incidence of risk-taking behaviours such as experimenting with illicit drugs, risky sexual behaviours, boredom when job routines are of a constant and repetitive  nature and it may lead to a lacking of efficiency or practicality given the ability to think laterally more often.

Yours in great health, 

Dr Troy

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