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Open-mindedness is receptiveness to new ideas. Open-mindedness relates to the way in which people approach the views and knowledge of others.[1] Jason Baehr defines an open-minded person as one who "characteristically moves beyond or temporarily sets aside his own doxastic commitments in order to give a fair and impartial hearing to the intellectual opposition".[2] Jack Kwong's definition sees open-mindedness as the "willingness to take a novel viewpoint seriously".[3]

According to Wayne Riggs, open-mindedness springs from an awareness of the inherent fallibility of one's beliefs; hence, open-minded individuals are more inclined to listen to, and seriously consider, alternative viewpoints.[4]

There are various scales for the measurement of open-mindedness.[5] Harding and Hare argued that schools should emphasize open-mindedness more than relativism in their science instruction, because the scientific community does not embrace a relativistic way of thinking.[6]

Among other things, the critical attitude[clarification needed] involves an open-minded outlook with respect to one's beliefs.[7]

Open-mindedness is generally considered[by whom?] an important personal attribute for effective participation in management teams and other groups.[citation needed] Open-mindedness is usually encouraged[by whom?] in group settings, within different cultures and new environments.[8][need quotation to verify]

According to David DiSalvo, closed-mindedness, or an unwillingness to consider new ideas, can result from the brain's natural dislike for ambiguity. According to this view, the brain has a "search and destroy" relationship with ambiguity and evidence contradictory to people's current beliefs tends to make them uncomfortable by introducing such ambiguity.[9] Research confirms that belief-discrepant-closed-minded persons have less tolerance for cognitive inconsistency.[10]

Virtues contrasting with open-mindedness include steadfastness, loyalty, and fundamentalism.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
    • Tjosvold, Dean; Poon, Margaret (1998). "Dealing with Scarce Resources: Open-Minded Interaction for Resolving Budget Conflicts". Group & Organization Management. 23 (3): 237–58. doi:10.1177/1059601198233003. S2CID 145375329.
    • Mitchell, Rebecca & Nicholas, Stephen (2006). "Knowledge Creation in Groups: The Value of Cognitive Diversity, Transactive Memory and Open-mindedness Norms". Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management. 4 (1): 67–74.
  2. ^ Baehr, Jason (2011). "The Structure of Open-Mindedness". Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 41 (2): 191–213. doi:10.1353/cjp.2011.0010. S2CID 55516406.
  3. ^ Kwong, Jack M.C. (2015). "Open-Mindedness as a Critical Virtue" (PDF). Topio. 35 (2): 403–411. doi:10.1007/s11245-015-9317-4. S2CID 10757787.
  4. ^ Riggs, Wayne (2010). "Open-mindedness". Metaphilosophy. 41 (1–2): 172–188. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01625.x. S2CID 240236568.
  5. ^ Haiman, Franklyn S. (2009). "A revised scale for the measurement of open‐mindedness". Speech Monographs. 31 (2): 97–102. doi:10.1080/03637756409375396.
  6. ^ Harding, Patricia; Hare, William (2000). "Portraying Science Accurately in Classrooms: Emphasizing Open-Mindedness Rather Than Relativism". Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 37 (3): 225–236. Bibcode:2000JRScT..37..225H. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1098-2736(200003)37:3<225::AID-TEA1>3.0.CO;2-G.
  7. ^ Hare, William (1998). "Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking". Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy. Boston, Mass.
  8. ^ Hambrick, Donald C. (1987). "The Top Management Team: Key to Strategic Success". California Management Review. 30 (1): 88–108. doi:10.2307/41165268. JSTOR 41165268. S2CID 155702534.
  9. ^ DiSalvo, David (2011). What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1-61614-483-8.
  10. ^ Hunt, Martin F. Jr.; Miller, Gerald R. (1968). "Open- and closed-mindedness, belief-discrepant communication behavior, and tolerance for cognitive inconsistency". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 8 (1): 35–37. doi:10.1037/h0021238. PMID 5638020.

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