What does it mean to be open-minded? How To Be Open-minded?

What Does It Mean to Be Open-Minded? how To Be Open-Minded?

Open-mindedness; different opinions, and to be sensitive to information and expressing a characteristic feature to be able to evaluate them kapılmaksız bias. Open mindedness is generally considered a positive quality. It is this skill that underlies critical and rational thinking.

If you are not open to different views or perspectives, you will find it difficult to identify all the factors that will further increase problems or help you produce effective solutions. In today’s world, where polarization is gradually increasing, it is important to get out of your comfort zone and take into account different perspectives or ideas.

Being open-minded is not an easy task. Being open to new ideas and experiences can sometimes turn into a more daunting process than we think. New information that contradicts our current beliefs can sometimes lead to confusion or even cognitive dissonance. However, it is still an important part of the learning and personal development process to be able to review and change some beliefs once it is outdated or indisputable .

Wouldn’t you like to take advantage of being open-minded? In our article, we included critical information about what open-mindedness means and how you can improve this skill.

What does it mean to be open-minded?

What does it mean to be open-minded? How To Be Open-minded?

There are several different aspects to consider when defining open mindedness:

  • The term open mindedness is used as a synonym for being biased or tolerant in everyday language.
  • From a psychological perspective, it describes how eager people are to consider different perspectives / perspectives or to gain new experiences.
  • Open mindedness also means being more active in asking questions and pursuing diametrically opposite information with your beliefs.
  • It also emphasizes the belief that other people should be as free as you are in expressing their beliefs and opinions, even if they do not share the same idea with you.

An opposite approach to being open-minded is called “closeness or dogmatic”. People who have closed the doors of their minds so often are just content with their own perspectives, and do not care about the opinions of others.

Even if you define yourself as an open-minded person, there will be topics that you develop a strict approach to. For example, you are likely to develop such an attitude towards certain things or social issues you are passionate about. It may be good to develop an unshakable belief in a subject, but strong beliefs do not hinder open-mindedness. Open mindedness requires that you consider other people’s ideas and try to empathize even if you disagree with them.

Of course, like everything, open mindedness has its limits. Open mindedness does not mean that you should sympathize with each ideology or be blindly attached. However, it would be a useful approach to try to understand the factors that push people to adopt an idea, or to find ways to persuade them to change their minds when necessary.

What are the Characteristics of Open-minded People?

  • They wonder different thoughts.
  • They like to oppose their ideas, they can challenge other ideas.
  • When they make a mistake, they do not get angry or frustrated.
  • Empathy skills are improved.
  • They also think about other people’s thoughts.
  • They are humble about their knowledge and expertise.
  • They like to listen to others.
  • They believe that they also have the right to freely share their views and beliefs.

What are the Advantages of Being Open-minded?

1) Brings Insight.

If you are open minded, you will learn to challenge your current beliefs; With the new ideas you will acquire, you both change your worldview and discover new facts about yourself.

2) Allows You To Get New Experiences.

Being open to different ideas will give you new and unique experiences.

3) Improves Your Personality.

Being open-minded will also help you develop yourself in terms of personality. You learn new things about the world you live in and the people around you.

4) Strengthens Your Mind.

Being open to new ideas and experiences helps you become a much stronger, energetic and enthusiastic individual. Your experiences and knowledge increase exponentially.

5) Gives an Optimistic Perspective.

One of the main problems of having a closed mind is that it often leads to much greater negativity / pessimism. Open-mindedness will help you develop an optimistic view of life and the future.

6) You Learn New Things.

If you surround yourself with the same old ideas all the time, if you completely close the doors to innovations, you cannot continue the learning process. Pushing your limits and reaching people with different perspectives or experiences will keep your mind fresh at all times.

What are the Factors Affecting Open Mindedness?

Factors that may affect an individual’s degree of open-mindedness are:

1) Personality / Character Structure

According to the five-factor personality scale model, being open to new experiences is perceived as one of the five personality dimensions that make up a person’s personality. There are points where being open to innovation is parallel to open mindedness – such as being willing to consider new experiences and ideas and paying attention to the self-assessment process.

2) Expertise

The results of the research reveal that people have much more dogmatic beliefs regarding their specialties. When people think they are more knowledgeable or talented than other people in one area, they are less likely to be open-minded.

Likewise, it has been determined how far the fact that the participants give unrealistic feedback (whether positive or negative does not change the situation) about their performances on a task distanced them from developing alternative opinions or open mindedness.

3) Ability to Cope with Uncertainty

People have different levels of resistance in dealing with uncertainty. Large uncertainties make them feel restless or even stressed. Being dogmatic often makes things much simpler and easier to understand. By rejecting alternative ideas that can challenge the status quo / current situation, you can eliminate the feeling of uncertainty and minimize the risk of risk – at least you can change your perception of risk. Research results that show that mentally closed people have low levels of tolerance to cognitive inconsistencies also support this view.

Although your innate traits are largely determined by your level of open mindedness, there are many things you can do to improve this skill.

How to be open-minded?

Although being open-minded is a learned skill, it is difficult to realize. Our minds are designed to perceive many concepts as a whole. For this reason, we create categories of ideas or knowledge, which Psychologist Jean Piaget calls “schema.” When we encounter new information, we pass this information through a mental process called “assimilation / assimilation” and associate it with one of our existing schemes.

However, sometimes the new things we learn do not match our current knowledge. In this case, we have to adapt our perception of the world to a process called “adaptation (acommodation)”. As you can see, we need to change the way we think to deal with new information.

Analysis is an easy process. Ultimately, all you do is add new information to your existing file system without any intervention. Adaptation is much more difficult. Unlike adding something new to an existing file, you need to create a completely new file system.

New knowledge that you will gain from time to time requires the questioning of existing information. You are expected to evaluate past learning once in the light of new experiences. To do this, you need to put aside your value judgments, take a serious look at the available evidence, and accept that you are wrong when necessary. This process; it can turn into a difficult, confusing and sometimes painful or radically changing experience.

Moreover, it requires intensive mental effort, but this is what you need to do to train your brain to be more open-minded.

What else can you do?

1) Fight Verification Bias.

Verification bias is the tendency of individuals to favor, consider and highlight information that supports or confirms their beliefs, thoughts and assumptions. This cognitive trend may be one of the biggest obstacles to open mindedness. Moreover, it may be much more difficult to overcome this trend than you think. Verification bias implies focusing on what confirms our current beliefs, but ignoring all the evidence that clearly challenges our thoughts while doing so.

Awareness of verification bias is the most effective way to combat it. When you encounter new information, you should also consider how this cognitive bias can affect your information evaluation process. Have you noticed that you accept an idea / argument, provided it supports your current opinion? So take a moment to think about the different arguments that will require you to question your ideas. In this process, it will be useful to get an idea about how to evaluate the sources of information or to research stories that have been the subject of scientific research.

2) Ask Questions.

Most people prefer to rely on their intellectual knowledge. Trusting and believing in individual choices is beneficial in many ways. However, it is worth remembering that even having certain ideals and your determination to adhere to these ideals can sometimes persist you in stubbornness, another indication of closedness.

Open mindedness requires you to question not only the other person but also yourself.When you encounter new information, ask yourself the following key questions:

  • What do you really know about the subject?
  • Is your source of information reliable enough?
  • Did you come up with different ideas?
  • Do you have any bias that could affect your thoughts?

In most cases, going into this kind of self-questioning process will help deepen your commitment to your beliefs. Or it can bring to mind a few brilliant ideas that you haven’t considered before.

3) Leave it on time.

When you hear something you can not accept, your first reaction may be – instinctively – to say that you disagree or to shut yourself down to that idea. Instead of listening to the idea in question or taking into account different perspectives, you will enter the proving mode of the person in front of you. You are so immersed in this that you miss out on most of the details.

It is always easiest to cling to your emotional response to a topic / idea. It does not accept the situation, it indicates that you do not like what you hear, moreover, you can even ask the other person to understand how wrong he is.

The main problem with such impulsive responses is that you are moving to heat. Therefore, you cannot take enough time to evaluate the problem in all aspects and in real terms, moreover, you cannot even make all these facts a subject of discussion.

Instead, give yourself time to assess the claims and evidence. Before giving an instant reaction to every new information / opinion you hear, you should take a few minutes to think about these points:

  • Is your own claim / idea based on multiple sources?
  • Are you willing to review contradictory ideas once again when it comes to the existence of contradictory situations?
  • Do you insist on defending your own opinion even if the evidence claims otherwise?

Open mindedness, unlike dogmatism, requires a considerable amount of cognitive effort. Even thinking about evaluating different perspectives can create a challenge in itself, but it is equally – perhaps even more – difficult to finally have to review your own beliefs.

4) Be humble about your intellectual knowledge.

Even if you are an expert on the subject, you should be aware of the defective structure of the brain that is far from perfection and you should always know that it will not reflect the truth. This is the truth, even if you don’t want to accept it. As the research results clearly demonstrate, having information about a subject is a kind of invitation to “closed mind”.

When people think they are authority on any subject or believe they already know everything they need to know, they are less willing to get new information or take advantage of these ideas. This not only limits your learning potential, but also provides a concrete example of the cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger effect (it is possible to define the Dunning-Kruger effect as “ignorant courage”). This prejudice causes people to overestimate their knowledge and become blind as a result of their ignorance.

Real experts, on the other hand, tend to take a much more humble approach to their knowledge, and know that learning will not end.

You will understand that if you think you know everything, you are likely to know nothing.

Every individual you have the opportunity to meet may know something that you are not quite a foundation of. It is also impossible to consider different perspectives and experiences without being open minded. You can never learn the information of others, you cannot improve yourself.

Final Words on Open mindness

Being open-minded can be difficult. The tendency of our minds to take shortcuts or prefer the simple one and conserve cognitive energy will not help you much in this regard. Open mindedness can be improved even if it is not an innate feature. Therefore, you should focus on what you can do to develop an attitude that will open your horizons to new perspectives, knowledge, people and experiences.

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