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Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic. Create a personalised profile. Select personalised. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Open-mindedness involves being receptive to a wide variety of ideas, arguments, and information.
Being open-minded is generally considered a positive quality. It is a necessary ability in order to think critically and rationally. If you are not open to other ideas and perspectives, it is difficult to see all of the factors that contribute to problems or come up with effective solutions. In an increasingly polarized world, being able to step outside your comfort zone and consider other perspectives and ideas is important.
Being open to new ideas and experiences can sometimes lead to confusion and cognitive dissonance when we learn new things that conflict with existing beliefs. However, being able to change and revise outdated or incorrect beliefs is an important part of learning and personal growth. To enjoy the benefits of being open-minded, work on building this ability. There are a few different aspects to open-mindedness:. The opposite of open-minded is closed-minded or dogmatic.
People who are more closed-minded are usually only willing to consider their own viewpoints and are not receptive to other ideas. Even if you consider yourself a fairly open-minded person, there are probably certain topics on which you take a much harder stance: Experiences that you are passionate about or social issues, for example. Having convictions can be great, but strong belief does not negate an open mind. Being open-minded means having the ability to consider other perspectives and trying to be empathetic to other people, even when you disagree with them.
Of course, open-mindedness has its limits. It does not imply that you must sympathize with every ideology. But making an effort to understand the factors that might have led to those ideas can be helpful in finding ways to persuade people to change their minds. Being more open-minded means enjoying some useful and powerful benefits. Open-mindedness helps you:. There are a of things that can affect how open- or closed-minded a person is. While some of the factors that go into determining how open-minded you are might be inborn characteristics, others can be cultivated to help develop a more open mindset.
In the five-factor model of human personalityopenness to experience is one of the five broad dimensions that make up human personality. This personality trait shares many of the same qualities with open-mindedness, such as being willing to consider new experiences and ideas and engaging in self-examination.
Research suggests that people expect experts to be more dogmatic about their area of expertise. When people feel that they are more knowledgeable or skilled in an area than other people, they are less likely to be open-minded. Researchers have found that giving participants false positive or false negative feedback about their performance on a task influenced how closed-minded they were about considering an alternative political opinion. People have varying levels of comfort when dealing with uncertainty.
Too much ambiguity leaves people feeling uncomfortable and even distressed.
Dogmatism is sometimes an attempt to keep things simpler and easier to understand. By rejecting alternative ideas that might challenge the status quo, people are able to minimize uncertainty and risk —or at least their perception of risk. Older research does support this idea, suggesting that people who are closed-minded are less able to tolerate cognitive inconsistencies.
Learning how to be more open-minded is possible, but it can be a bit of a challenge. In many ways, our minds are deed to view concepts as wholes. We develop an idea or a category of knowledge, which the psychologist Jean Piaget referred to as a schema. As we come across new information, we tend to want to sort it into one of our existing schemas in a mental process known as assimilation.
In this instance, we have to adjust our understanding of the world in a process known as accommodation. Essentially, we have to change how we think in order to deal with this new information. Accommodation is more difficult. Sometimes new information requires rethinking the things you thought you knew. In order to do this, you have to be able to set aside your judgments, take a serious look at the existing evidence, and admit that you were wrong. That process can be difficult, confusing, and sometimes painful or life-changing. It takes a lot of mental effort, but you can train your brain to be more open-minded.
A cognitive tendency known as the confirmation bias can be one of the biggest contributors to closed-mindedness. Overcoming this tendency, however, can be a bit tricky. The confirmation bias involves paying more attention to things that confirm our existing beliefs, while at the same time discounting evidence that challenges what we think.
Being aware of the confirmation bias is perhaps one of the best ways to combat it. As you encounter information, take a moment to consider how this bias might affect how you evaluate the information. If it seems like you are readily accepting something because it supports your existing arguments, take a moment to consider some arguments that might challenge your ideas. Learning how to evaluate sources of information and learning how to be an informed consumer of scientific stories in the news can also be helpful.
Most people like to believe in their own sense of intellectual virtue. And in many ways, it is important to be able to have trust and faith in your own choices. But it is good to remember that what might seem like being resolute and committed to certain ideals may actually be a form of closed-minded stubbornness. Part of being open-minded involves being able to question not just others, but also yourself.
As you encounter new information, ask yourself a few key questions:. In many cases, this sort of self-questioning might help deepen your commitment to your beliefs. When you hear something you disagree with, your first instinct may be to disagree or just shut down.
Instead of listening or considering the other perspective, you enter a mode of thinking where you are just trying to prove the other person wrong, sometimes before you even have a chance to consider all of the points. The problem with that sort of quick-draw response is that you are acting in the heat of the moment, not taking the time to really consider all aspects of the problem, and probably not arguing all that effectively. The alternative is to give yourself a brief period to consider the arguments and evaluate the evidence.
After you hear something, take a few moments to consider the following points before you respond:. Open-mindedness requires more cognitive effort than dogmatism. Just being willing to consider other perspectives can be a challenge, but it can be even more difficult when you find yourself having to revise your own beliefs as a result. Even if you are an expert on a topic, try to keep in mind that the brain is much more imperfect and imprecise than most of us want to admit.
As the research has shown, being knowledgeable about something can actually contribute to closed-mindedness. When people think that they are an authority on a topic or believe that they already know all there is to know, they are less willing to take in new information and entertain new ideas. This not only limits your learning potential, but it can also be an example of a cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. This bias le people to overestimate their own knowledge of a topic, making them blind to their own ignorance.
True experts tend to actually be more humble about their knowledge; they know that there is always more to learn. Being open-minded can be hard. Even if being open-minded does not come naturally to you, you can work to cultivate a receptive attitude that leaves you open to new perspectives, knowledge, people, and experiences. Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life. When self-perceptions of expertise increase closed-minded cognition: The earned dogmatism effect.
J Exp SocPsychol. Open- and closed-mindedness, belief-discrepant communication behavior, and tolerance for cognitive inconsistency. J Pers Soc Psychol. Lambie J. Psychological and Biological Roots of Open-Mindedness. Palgrave Macmillan, MIT Press, Your Privacy Rights.
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We and our partners process data to: Actively scan device characteristics for identification. I Accept Show Purposes. Table of Contents View All. Table of Contents. What Open-Mindedness Is. Influencing Factors. How to Be More Open-Minded.
Characteristics of Open-Minded People They are curious to hear what others think. They are able to have their ideas challenged. They have empathy for other people. They think about what other people are thinking.
They are humble about their own knowledge and expertise. They want to hear what other people have to say. They believe others have a right to share their beliefs and thoughts. Was this helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Up. What are your concerns? Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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The Difference Between Open-Minded and Closed-Minded People