Are you open-minded? Have you ever felt like you just see the world differently because you’re always willing to try something new or hear people where they are?
Well, as it turns out, there’s a good reason: You are different. In fact, according to one recent study, you live in a different reality than most people.
The study, titled “Seeing It Both Ways,” comes courtesy Melbourne University. 123 participants from various backgrounds were tested in five personality categories: agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism, and lastly, the ability to keep an open mind about new experiences.
What they found was that “openness” determines what kind of reality a person lives in. This desire to explore, push boundaries, and learn more about the world around you, actually shows up in concrete ways in your life, and reflects a very different reality than the ones others experience.
For instance, as part of the test, researchers explored visual perspective courtesy a test of “binocular rivalry.” In the test, researchers showed one eye a green image while showing the other eye a red image. For most people, this test results in their brain switching back and forth, able only to process one image at a time. As a result, they see a green image and then a red image, or vice versa.
For individuals who scored well on the openness test, however, a completely different thing happened. Rather than see one image or the other, their brains merged the images—and they saw a blue image instead. And this was far, far more likely for people who scored well in openness, whose brains were better able to process a different reality.
As the researchers note, this fits with our understanding of openness as related to creativity; people who are open-minded tend to create different neural pathways because they are so receptive to new experiences and perceptions, and this leads to new ideas, the type of ideas other people simply aren’t capable of having.
This fits with previous research, such as this 2015 study. Open-mindedness actually creates a different reality, and broadens the world in which open-minded people live in.
Outside of becoming more open-minded, we might see black or white, red or green. Once we embrace openness, however, we can expect the entire rainbow. So what are we waiting for?
Let’s all try being a little more open-minded!
*This content was inspired by an amazing article that can be found here.