Research: Intelligence an "Openness to Experience"

New research demonstrates that one of the key attributes of intelligence is "an openness to experience," one of the so-called Big Five personality traits, the others being conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

Scott Barry Kaufman, who has documented his on unorthodox learning style and is skeptical about the ways in which intelligence has been traditionally assessed in his book Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined, is also well placed as a cognitive psychologist to offer new ways to think about the subject.

In his article at Scientific American, he suggests that intelligence can be viewed as an aspect of personality rather than a wholly separate domain of human functioning, and reviews the data from a group of individuals who took both personality and intelligence tests. Kaufman:

Given this data, where does IQ fit into the personality puzzle? While this is just a single data set, it is consistent with other studies suggesting that the most relevant personality domain is openness to experience, particularly the dimensions that reflect the ability and drive for conscious exploration of inner mental experience.

Well, far be it from the IdeaFestival to question the benefits of new experiences.

Because of his interest in cognitive working and creative expression, Kaufman's linking of intelligence to "openness to experience" rather than "extroversion," for example, suggests one explanation for creative achievement across the divide between art and science. Individuals who go on to make novel contributions in both domains must first consider the stimuli before engaging it.

I'd be very interested in hearing Kaufman's views of to what extent this openness can be acquired.

Stay curious.

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Image of Daniel Roth: Geoff Oliver Bugbee