Openness vs. Resistance

Authored by Robert Chen • 
July 10, 2016
 • 2 min read

One axis on which we can study personality is on a scale ranging from openness to resistance.

The openness-resistance spectrum

Openness refers to a preference for novelty. People that are open, are more likely to try new things in life. These people are very creative, are curious to find out about the world around them, they thrive on and seek out adventures.

Resistance is the preference for keeping things the same way. Know any people who always want things done a certain way? Or anyone who might find it hard to understand very abstract concepts? These people are resistant.

Physiological basis of the openness vs. resistance personality spectrum

There is evidence that the posterior middle temporal gyrus can play a role in individuals' openness. In particular, this brain region has been linked with semantic processing during novelty seeking behavior. The posterior middle temporal gyrus has been linked to creativity as well.1


fMRI imaging studies have shown that gray matter volume of the posterior middle temporal gyrus is positively correlated with more openness and creativity in individuals.

Nootropics and openness

Various compounds have been linked to increased openness in individuals. Scientific studies have shown links between compounds such as as psilocybin and marijuana on increased openness to experience in healthy individuals. (Learn more)

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