Subjects with an open personality to experiences are more exposed to change and novelty, and tend to take more risks than the average person.

In this article we will review the concept of openness to experience as a personality trait , and see a list of the characteristics of this class of people. This way you can recognize what your level of openness to experience is, according to the number of characteristics you identify with.

What is openness to experience?

When we talk about openness to experience, we are referring to certain personality characteristics that generate a propensity to make decisions related to going outside their comfort zone . People with this trait are subjects who generally have no problem trying out new methods of doing things, or exposing themselves to new sensations for themselves.

In turn, the concept of openness to experience as a psychological construct comes from the Big Five model.

Creative, imaginative people with a penchant for innovation tend to have a higher level of openness to experience than those with rigid personality characteristics, in which ingenuity does not predominate but rather structured thinking.

What characteristics do these people possess?

Now we will review the most characteristic features of people who stand out for their openness to experience.

1. Originality

Generally, people with a lot of openness experience tend to have a high level of creative thinking in terms of the actions they perform. They are people who do not seek to copy something that is already done, but prefer to carry out their own projects, starting from an innovative idea.

Creative people also possess a high level of openness to new experiences, as they usually tend to look for inspiration from sources that are new to them, thus seeing the need to step outside their comfort zone to find the answer to their inspiration.

2. Imagination

Imaginative people are also often those who go outside their comfort zone, as they are able to create in their mind new and original scenarios in which they feel comfortable and usually seek to put these experiences into practice in one way or another.

3. Intellectual curiosity

Curiosity for empirical knowledge, for obtaining new answers to questions that we usually ask ourselves, is also a characteristic of people who show openness towards change, since these people usually seek the answers by various means that lead them to test their perception of reality.

4. Various interests

People who present a wide range of interests are usually more likely to have new experiences, whereas the interests a person presents lead him/her to acquire a range of knowledge related to these interests.

5. Unconventional beliefs

An essential characteristic of people who are open to new experiences is that they do not always go with the flow, but often have different thoughts from those of most people. They are more resistant to social pressure .

6. Tolerance

The subjects who score high in terms of the characteristics referring to openness to experience are those who also better accept the differences in thought of others .

The more tolerant a person is in relation to the diverse opinions of others, the greater their level of openness to new experiences tends to be. In other words, the greater the tolerance, the greater the level of openness to change.

7. Self-assessment

Those who are able to do a self-evaluation exercise, and question their own beliefs, manage to open up to new ways of thinking that allow them to experience new things.

It is not a question of being insecure, but of not believing oneself to be the master of absolute reason and being willing to reconsider some things in our life that may be limiting us in terms of reaching our maximum potential.

8. Internal Control Locus

The locus of internal control refers to the subjects’ perception that the events that occur to them depend mainly on themselves , and not on their environment. People who have developed this characteristic tend to present greater possibilities of openness to change.

When we think that the things that happen to us respond to the decisions we have made, then we are able to make new decisions to promote significant changes in our lives.

9. Emotionality

Finally, people who are easily open to change also have a high level of emotionality. In other words, they are subjects who are not afraid of strong emotions , they do not guard against the possibility of being mobilized by some emotion.

Instead of avoiding strong emotions, they go in search of new activities, where there is the possibility to experience significant and new feelings for them, which represent the opportunity to get out of the conventional.

Bibliographic references:

  • García, L. F.; Aluja, A.; García, Ó.; Cuevas, L. (2005). Is Openness to Experience an Independent Personality Dimension? Journal of Individual Differences 26 (3): 132-138.
  • Steel, P.; Schmidt, J. and Shultz, J. (2008). Refining the relationship between personality and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin 134 (1): 138-161.