If you are one of those people who love adventure and new experiences, you are likely to see the world differently, literally. People who are more open to new experiences, those who are always looking for new things, are able to perceive more visual information than others and combine it in a unique way, and this is what increases their creativity. In fact, some psychologists think that this is the key to creativity.
Being opened to experience is a trait of the personality. These people are characterized to be more curious, inclined to explore new realities, develop a broader range of interests, and are even more original. These people often get excellent results in creativity tests, such as those in which they are asked to find different uses for everyday things, such as a brick or a tennis ball.
There is also evidence that people with greater openness to experiences are able to capture more visual signals in the environment. For example, focusing on letters that move on a screen they tend to notice a small gray box that also appears on the screen, a detail that others persons do not perceive.
The “gift” of the mixed perception
A team of psychologists at the University of Melbourne has found that in fact, people who are more open to experience are also able to meet more opportunities. These researchers believe that they have a more flexible visual input port, allowing them to acquire more details consciously.
To reach this conclusion, the psychologists recruited 123 young people and submitted them to a test in which they had to see at the same time a red image with one eye and a green image with the other, this for two minutes.
The usual practice is that the brain perceives only one image at a time, so most people have seen the red image first and then the other. However, the researchers found that some people saw the two images as fused together, a phenomenon known as “mixed perception”.
The interesting thing was that as people showed themselves to be more open to new experiences, the more they were more likely to present this “mixed perception”.
The result of brain expansion
It is thought that the phenomenon of mixed perception is due to brain flexibility; that is, the minds of these people are more likely to look for solutions outside the conventional parameters, and this leads them to a different level of stimulation processing.
This could explain why people open to new experiences tend to be more creative and innovative. All evidence suggests that these people see the world differently, literally, so they are also more creative.
Therefore, to develop creativity there is nothing better than opening up to new experiences, trying new things and criticizing much less because every time we criticize we activate the prefrontal area of the brain, that is exactly what prevents the flow of original ideas. These psychologists also emphasize that mindfulness meditation can help us to be more creative because it facilitates mixed perception as well as helps us overcome the barrier imposed by our conscious mind.
Antinori, A. et. Al. (2017) Seeing it both ways: Openness to experience and binocular rivalry suppression. Journal of Research in Personality; 68: 15–22.