One of the personality traits tested by the Big 5 personality test is openness. While this refers to how open-minded you are, there are other sub-traits that make up the openness definition.
An openness personality doesn’t mean that you have no ideas or opinions of your own. In fact, a focus on abstract ideas is one of the key sub-traits of the openness personality trait.
Summary: Learn more about the openness personality trait. Take our personality test to see what personality you would fall under.
Openness Personality vs. Close-Minded Personality
On top of being open-minded or close-minded, openness or closedness relates to how much you like new experiences over preferring routine. Despite the differences, we want to stress that there is nothing wrong with either of the personality traits.
In the next couple of sections, we will define both the personalities, explain where they excel, and give the sub-traits of the personality.
If you are someone who is very firm in your ideals and likes to stick to a routine you have, you may be a closedness personality. You may find it hard to adjust to change and may not want to leave your comfort zone very often.
Closedness people also tend to be more practical thinking and do not enjoy letting their imagination run as wild as those who are more open. A closedness person may also prefer to see the world in black and white and gravitate toward math and science as opposed to more abstract studies.
People who are more of an open personality may have been told once or twice that they are a dreamer and have their heads up in the clouds. Abstract ideas and imagination excite those who score higher in openness.
Those who are open like to have new experiences. They enjoy the fluctuations of change and may find it difficult to stick to the same routine day after day. Open people tend to be more artistic and expressive and like subjects that allow them to be creative and think deeply like literature or art.
Now that you know the differences between the two personalities, here are the six sub-traits that comprise the Big Five trait of openness. You may even find that you are more close-minded but still gravitate toward one of these openness sub-traits:
- Aesthetic Interests
People who score high in openness love to have new experiences in life. It may be hard to keep a high-scoring individual to stick to a routine or monotonous job where there is no new work. Low-scoring people may have difficulty breaking out of their shells to do new activities.
Highly inclined to artistic and creative endeavors, those who score high in the openness personality trait will likely enjoy things that relate to aesthetics and art. Those who score lower may enjoy more black and white subjects like math or science.
This does not mean that people are overly emotional. Emotionality simply refers to the fact that people who score high in openness tend to think emotions are an integral part of the human experience and want to give them proper attention. Those who score lower don’t ever let their emotions take control.
If you have ever been told your head is up in space, you are probably someone who scores higher in openness. While those who score low see the world as it is, those who score high like to spend time in their imagination and see the world through a different lens.
Those who score high in openness like to consider abstract ideas. Whereas those who score low like to focus on more practical matters. If you find yourself considering things that aren’t a part of the material world, you are likely someone who would score high in openness.
While often a term used in politics, liberalism with the openness personality trait means your ability to accept those who are different than you whether it is appearance or thought pattern. In fact, those who score high like to be surrounded by those who are diverse and different.
What Your Results Mean
First, we would like to address again that whichever category you fall into does not mean there is something wrong with you. You simply think differently and have different interests than the ones around you. Without different thought patterns, there would be no progress.
The biggest part of understanding the Big Five trait of openness is to know how to implement it in your life now that you know something else about yourself.
If you are someone who is closed it doesn’t mean that you aren’t imaginative or that you can’t be free from time to time. Those who score lower just tend to like structure and practical forms of thinking. You also tend to focus on the material world more than those who score high.
People who score lower thrive in environments where there is a lot of structure and routine on a day-to-day basis.
Things like data analysis, accounting, scientific study, managerial, administrative, or jobs that focus on tradition and practices are good for those who are lower scoring in openness.
Though they seem like they may be boring people, they just prefer the calmer side of life. Without much change or outlandish thinking, people who are more closed in personality are very laid-back and strong in their beliefs and traditions.
Not having a routine is vital to a person who scores high in openness. Open people like change and want to experience it daily. If they get stuck into a routine day after day, their lives will become monotonous, and they won’t derive the same joy.
A job where they are able to meet other people or come into contact with new ideas while doing something different every day is the perfect job for someone who scores high in openness personality.
Careers like pilot, lawyer, philosopher, and tour guide are all jobs that are well-suited for someone with an open personality. They challenge the mind while allowing the person to meet new people.
If you gravitate toward the creative or unconventional side of the openness personality, you may find yourself in fields of artistry, writing, or graphic design where you can express yourself best.
Openness Personality FAQs
What is an openness personality?
What is an example of openness?
Do I need to change if I am a close-minded person?
You may want to broaden your horizons and try to step out and try new things every once in a while, but there is nothing wrong with liking a routine and disliking change.