The world but not as we know it. By @AsforAlex

By Alexandra Sims


The world but not as we know it.

You might have heard of the big five personality theory, you’re certainly familiar with one of the five types, extraversion, and its counterpart, introversion. People seem a lot more eager to categorise eachother through a measure of how outgoing or social a person is but there are four other types that form personality and they are agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience. The last one in that list surprised me. As expected in this industry, we’re always being told to be open to ideas and as we’re initiated into ad world through SCA, our mantra becomes ‘opportunity is now here’. That is how I thought of openess to experiences though, simply a guiding energy that we try to keep up. Turns out it’s holding its own as a main personality trait, one that involves imagination, creativity and a readiness to try new things. More than that, it alters the way we perceive reality because according to experts our character affects more than just our outlook on life.

A phenomenon called ‘binocular rivalry’ happens when our perception alternates when we’re shown a different image to each eye. People tend to shift between the two conflicting visuals as the brain is only able to consider them one at a time. However, some people can combine them and it’s  more likely to be those who score higher on openess. The ability to merge two incompatible images is a creative solution to a problem.

Sensory information is continuously being filtered in order for us to focus on individual things, so our subconscious might block out a sound or a certain feeling like the chair we’re sat in. People who are more open seem to be flexible in what information gets relayed back to them and inattentional blindness is something they’re less likely to experience. When we focus hard on one area we can fail to notice things that are otherwise obvious.

We’ve practiced keeping a journal of gratitude and not too long ago Marc told us to continue to take note of all the positive things we saw or were thankful for and it meant we ended the week with uplifting reflections. Then recently, Hegarty came in, which in itself is an exercise in remembering how lucky we are, and he reminded us that we are transmitters so we must be prepared to absorb what’s around us. That means don’t block yourself from external influences by walking around with headphones.

It’s not easy but we can practice and adopt ‘openess to experience’ as part of our personality. It’s not about being positive or working harder, it’s about seeing a different world entirely.

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