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Openmindedness is a personality trait related to the tendency to accept new ideas and to be willing to review social, political and religious values and attitudes. According to Tjosvold & Poon, open-mindedness norms relate to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others, and "incorporate the beliefs that others should be free to express their views and that the value of others’ knowledge should be recognized."[1] There are various scales for the measurement of open-mindedness.[2] It has been argued that schools should emphasize open-mindedness more than relativism in their science instruction, because the scientific community does not embrace a relativistic way of thinking.[3]

Open-mindedness is generally considered an important personal attribute for effective participation in management teams and other groups.[4] According to What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, closed-mindedness, or an unwillingness to consider new ideas, can result from the brain's natural dislike for ambiguity. According to this view, the brain has a "search and destroy" relationship with ambiguity and evidence contradictory to people's current beliefs tends to make them uncomfortable by introducing such ambiguity.[5] Research confirms that belief-discrepant-closed-minded persons have less tolerance for cognitive inconsistency.[6]

See also


  1. Rebecca Mitchell and Stephen Nicholas (2006). Knowledge Creation in Groups: The Value of Cognitive Diversity, Transactive Memory and Open-mindedness Norms. Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management.
  2. Haiman, Franklyn S. (2 June 2009). A revised scale for the measurement of open‐mindedness 31 (2): 97–102.
  3. Patricia Harding, William Hare (March 2000). Portraying Science Accurately in Classrooms: Emphasizing Open-Mindedness Rather Than Relativism. Journal of Research in Science Teaching 37 (3): 225–236.
  4. Hambrick, Donald C. (1987). {{{title}}}. California Management Review 30 (1): 88–108.
  5. David DiSalvo (22 November 2011). What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite, Prometheus Books.
  6. Hunt Jr., Martin F.; Miller, Gerald R. (Jan 1968). Open- and closed-mindedness, belief-discrepant communication behvior, and tolerance for cognitive inconsistency.. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 8 (1): 35–37.

Further reading