When it comes to human awareness we are all unique in our own ways but there are some clear categories that can be broken apart. For instance, those who are open-minded do not see this world in the same way that those who are close-minded do.
A somewhat recent study published in the Journal of Research in Personality titled ‘Seeing it both ways: Openness to experience and binocular rivalry suppression’ covers this quite intensely. You see, our moods and personalities as a whole can have a serious impact on how we perceive the world around us and the things we experience overall. Since open-minded people are often happier, in better spirits, and so forth they are also able to perceive a ‘better’ reality.
This is one of many studies/findings that notes just how evident it is that our personality traits and other things of the sort can affect how we experience the world around us. Business Insider actually went so far as to mention that they shape the course of our lives and determine what information we as humans choose to focus on. Because our reality is something that matters in enormous ways it affects the decisions and choices we make as we move forward.
“Open people appear to have a more flexible gate and let through more information than the average person.”
For this study, Antinori and her team members worked with over 100 participants who took the big five personality test and from there broke things down. Those who scored high in openness were less likely to experience things like inattentional blindness. You see, open-minded people are very open to new experiences and flexible in nature. They are often quite creative and tend to be more willing to go exploring than their close-minded counterparts. They experience the world differently, without question.
Openness to experience is characterized by flexible and inclusive cognition. Here we investigated whether this extends to basic visual perception, such that open people combine information more flexibly, even at low levels of perceptual processing. We used binocular rivalry, where the brain alternates between perceptual solutions and times where neither solution is fully suppressed, mixed percept. Study 1 showed that openness is positively associated with the duration of mixed percept and ruled out the possibility of response bias. Study 2 showed that mixed percept increased following a positive mood induction, particularly for open people. Overall, the results showed that openness is linked to differences in low-level visual perceptual experience. Further studies should investigate whether this may be driven by common neural processes.
Interesting to think about isn’t it? Are you open-minded or closed-minded? I for one think I am somewhere in the middle but after learning about this, I will be working as hard as I can to be more open-minded in my day-to-day life. Perhaps we could all work to do as such and through that create better ‘realities’ for ourselves.