I recently discovered a thought-provoking article by Jeff Haden on Inc.com that not only explores the relationship between personality and intelligence but also emphasizes the pivotal role of “openness.” Grounded in a comprehensive meta-analysis of over 1,300 studies involving millions of participants, the article challenges prevalent stereotypes about intelligence. For instance, it dispels the notion that a cluttered workspace signifies creativity or that higher intelligence leads to unhappiness.
The central thesis of the article is that “openness” is the only personality trait with a significant correlation to intelligence. In this context, openness doesn’t mean oversharing personal secrets. Rather, it signifies a willingness to engage with new experiences, ideas, and information. As Jeff Bezos aptly puts it, “The smartest people are constantly revising their understanding, reconsidering a problem they thought they’d already solved.”
What I find particularly compelling is the article’s focus on the adaptability of intelligence. It argues that you don’t need to change your inherent personality traits to become more intelligent. The key is simply to be more open to new ideas and experiences. This perspective is especially liberating for those who may feel confined by their existing personality traits.
Furthermore, the article highlights the importance of adaptability and a willingness to change one’s mind as indicators of intelligence. It cites research showing that entrepreneurs who adapted their positions during pitch competitions were six times more likely to win. This underscores the value of being open to new perspectives and willing to revise one’s understanding.
In summary, if you’re interested in enhancing your cognitive abilities or simply wish to gain a fresh perspective on intelligence, this article is an invaluable read.