How do you recognize a gifted person? According to researchers from the University of North Texas, most people who are smarter than average have one particular personality trait in common. Curious to know what it might be?
The theory of the five main personality factors
In psychology, there is a model often used to define the personality of individuals. Called the 'Big Five', it proposes five main personality traits, including:
- Neuroticism: the predisposition to negative emotions.
- Agreeableness: the tendency to be gentle, forgiving, kind, etc.
- Extraversion: being sociable, talkative and being able to put yourself out there.
- Conscientiousness: character trait related to a sense of discipline, perfection and order, among other things.
- Openness: creativity, taste for new experiences, curiosity.
It is this model that was used in a study just published in Taylor & Francis Online that looked into the similarities between people of certain IQs. To conduct the research, scientists sampled 7676 participants of which 3244 were considered 'gifted' and 4732 'non-gifted'.
Openness to experience
Upon concluding their analysis, researchers found that out of all the five main personality traits, smarter people all seemed to share 'openness' within their character. Though the four other traits were present more or less to averaging degrees, it is truly the ability to remain open to new experiences and having the ability to welcome new ideas that was found in the most amount of 'gifted people.' The researchers explained:
The results of the study reveal that gifted individuals are more likely to be open to new experiences than other individuals, but there are no fundamental differences between the two groups with respect to the other factors.