Many contemporary psychologists are proponents of the Big Five personality traits—the five primary factors that can be used to assess an individual’s personality. Often abbreviated as OCEAN, these five factors or traits are openness to experience (O), conscientiousness (C), extraversion (E), agreeableness (A) and neuroticism (N). Organizations, big and small, have been known to use the OCEAN personality model to better understand their employees. This helps them recruit individuals with the right characteristics and assign tasks based on employee strengths.

Here we’ll explore the O of the OCEAN personality model—openness to experience. While we’re at it, we’ll also look at the defining traits of the openness personality and share a few examples of the same.


  1. Decoding Openness Personality

  2. Openness To Experience Personality Traits

  3. Openness To Experience Examples

  4. Network The Right Way

Decoding Openness Personality


Openness to experience is one of the five OCEAN personality types. As the name suggests, openness to experience refers to the quality of being open-minded and accepting of new notions and experiences. A person who weighs high on the openness to experience scale is innovative, observant and imaginative, with an insatiable curiosity about life in general. They enjoy creative pursuits and exploring information from diverse angles.

Individuals with low openness to experience, on the other hand, prefer to stick to conventional approaches while executing tasks and are strict followers of routine. While they aren’t very creative and resourceful individuals, they’re dedicated workers who follow through on their responsibilities and take their commitments seriously. However, they may be resistant to change and are often viewed as uncompromising, predictable and close-minded.

Openness To Experience Personality Traits


People who exhibit a high level of openness to experience are found to possess the following openness personality traits:

1. Adventurous

Having a penchant for adventure and new experiences is a common openness personality trait. People with a high degree of openness to experience love stepping out of their comfort zone and embracing new opportunities. Nonconforming and spontaneous, they love a challenge and thrive in the sense of thrill and excitement they get out of taking risks and venturing into the unknown. They dislike being bound by routine.


2. Liberal

Because people with an openness personality are broad-minded, they’re also some of the most accepting and liberal individuals out there. Being open to differences and diversity is a significant openness personality trait. Among the five OCEAN personality types, individuals with high openness to experience are the most appreciative of equity and inclusion. They enjoy multicultural settings and are excellent team workers.


3. Creative

Creativity is a prominent openness personality trait. People with high openness to experience are dreamers with an active imagination who pursue a wide range of creative hobbies and interests. They’re also flexible, intuitive and quick to come up with innovative solutions to problems. Brainstorming and solving puzzles and riddles excite them.


In the OCEAN personality model, people weighing high on openness to experience are the least authoritative and dogmatic about their beliefs. They seek out and embrace diverse cultures and abstract concepts. Artists, writers, philosophers, scientists and musicians rank high on the openness to experience scale.

Openness To Experience Examples

People with openness personality traits like to engage in meaningful discussions that are intellectually stimulating instead of making small talk. They’d much rather try out that unpronounceable French dish on the menu than stick to plain old onion soup. Let’s look at a few examples of openness to experience:

  • Actively encouraging someone to share their thoughts and opinions is an example of openness to experience. Open people are more tolerant of differing viewpoints
  • Another example of openness to experience is aesthetic sensibility. People weighing high on openness to experience are moved by all things aesthetics such as forms of art, music or calming natural sceneries
  • Being intellectually curious and thirsty for knowledge is an example of openness to experience. Open-minded individuals enjoy learning and use their acquired knowledge to navigate the many challenges of life

While people who are open to experience are generally considered more likable, they have their own set of drawbacks. Because such people tend to be more fickle than individuals with low openness, they can be less reliable when it comes to shouldering responsibility and following through on promises.

Network The Right Way


An important part of the OCEAN personality model, openness to experience helps you get along well with people, avoid conflicts and build meaningful connections with others. Why not utilize this aspect of your personality to network the right way? Harappa’s Expanding Networks course can be your go-to solution to master networking skills that go beyond merely exchanging business cards. Frameworks such as the Elevator Pitch and the Trust Equation teach you a structure to impactfully introduce yourself to others and familiarize you with the factors necessary to build and maintain trustworthiness.

This professional networking course also equips you with the right tools to build authentic, diverse and mutually beneficial professional relationships to help you achieve new heights of success. You’re able to maintain a rapport with people in various departments, pick up new ways to sustain professional relationships and leverage connections to accomplish professional goals. Let your collaboration skills become your workplace superpower. Sign up today for Harappa’s Expanding Networks course.

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