It seems to me that there are at least five different kinds of openness.
1) Novelty seeking.
2) Diminished threat awareness.
3) Sagacity; broad mindedness.
4) Epistemic humility.
5) Empathy. The ability to imagine what it must be like to experience the circumstances of others and/or to see the world as they do.
All five are distinctly different qualities or aspects of human psychology. They are not one and the same. Nor are they interchangeable. It is wrong to think or act as if they ARE the same. It is wrong to conflate them.
But that’s exactly what Western culture does. “Openness” is assumed to mean all five.
AND all five are assumed to be more common among liberals
AND are assumed to be less common among conservatives.
But the reality is that only one or the other, or both, of the first two are more common among liberals. The rest are more common among conservatives.
It’s wrong to think that people like Thomas Sowell, WF Buckley, Russell Kirk, Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, Milton Friedman, etc. did not possess the qualities of broad minded sagacity or epistemic humility, or openness to new ideas. If anything they were MORE open, broad minded, able to understand others who disagreed with them, empathetic, sagacious, OPEN, than their contemporaries on the left.
It CAN be argued, however, that their counterparts on the left were, and still are, NOT open.
But the opposite is assumed as truth.
Liberals are assumed to be higher in all five different types of openness, and conservatives lower.
It is a false assumption.
This is another example of how liberal hegemony over not just academic social science but western thought and culture in general harms both.
What’s assumed to be true isn’t.