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The benefits of open-mindedness

Being open minded is a continuous effort, but it’s well worth the work. For instance, research suggests that being open minded shapes your mood and makes you more creative. “Open people are more curious, creative, and motivated to explore the world and engage with possibilities,” write the researchers.

It’s not hard to imagine why: open-mindedness fosters curiosity, which in turn results in better creative input. It also fosters metacognition, so open-minded people will tend to make more space for self-reflection and interesting questions. Finally, open-minded people may be less driven by fear of failure compared to closed-minded people. The creative process involves learning through trial and error, which includes many failures before arriving at the desired result.

Another research study conducted with 340 college students found that open-mindedness may be linked to higher cognitive abilities. We don’t know if being open minded makes you smarter, or being smart makes you open minded, but these two traits seem to go hand-in-hand.