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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, and in the words of Dean Tjosvold "incorporate the beliefs that others should be free to express their views and that the value of others’ knowledge should be recognized."[1][2] Jason Baehr defines an open-minded person as being 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".[3] Jack Kwong's definition sees open-mindedness as the "willingness to take a novel viewpoint seriously."[4]

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.[5]

There are various scales for the measurement of open-mindedness.[6] It has been 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.[7]

According to Bertrand Russell, critical thinking presupposes open-mindedness. Among other things, the critical attitude involves an open-minded outlook with respect to our beliefs.[8]

Open-mindedness is generally considered an important personal attribute for effective participation in management teams and other groups. Open-mindedness is usually encouraged in group settings, within different cultures and new environments. [9] 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.[10] Research confirms that belief-discrepant-closed-minded persons have less tolerance for cognitive inconsistency.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tjosvold, Dean; Poon, Margaret (September 1998). "Dealing with scarce resources: openminded interaction for resolving budget conflicts". Group & Organization Management. 23 (3): 237–58. doi:10.1177/1059601198233003.
  2. ^ Rebecca Mitchell & Stephen Nicholas (2006). "Knowledge Creation in Groups: The Value of Cognitive Diversity, Transactive Memory and Open-mindedness Norms". Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management.
  3. ^ Baehr, Jason (2011). "The Structure of Open-Mindedness". Canadian Journal of Philosophy. 41 (2): 191–213. doi:10.1353/cjp.2011.0010.
  4. ^ Kwong, Jack (2015). Virtue.pdf "Open-Mindedness as a Critical Virtue" Check |url= value (help) (PDF). Topio. 35 (2): 403–411. doi:10.1007/s11245-015-9317-4.
  5. ^ Riggs, Wayne (2010). "Open-mindedness". Metaphilosophy. 41 (1–2): 172–188. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9973.2009.01625.x.
  6. ^ Haiman, Franklyn S. (2 June 2009). "A revised scale for the measurement of open‐mindedness". Speech Monographs. 31 (2): 97–102. doi:10.1080/03637756409375396.
  7. ^ Patricia Harding, William Hare; Hare (March 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.
  8. ^ Hare, William (1998). "Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking (a paper given at Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, in Boston, Massachusetts)".
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ David DiSalvo (22 November 2011). What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite. Prometheus Books. ISBN 978-1616144838.
  11. ^ Hunt Jr., Martin F.; Miller, Gerald R. (Jan 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.

Further reading[edit]