How would you define the term "open minded"?

Does open minded mean a person who believes in UFOs, ghosts, ESP, and the paranormal? Or does it mean a person who is willing to change his opinions based on evidence, even if it requires giving up his belief in the paranormal?


"belief" is, of itself, the opposite of open-mindedness. The idea of "belief" is that you accept a concept or thing as truth without evidence, and perhaps even in contradiction to evidence. Open-mindedness means that you are willing to listen to and consider alternative explanations or ideas to the ones that you accept and operate under at the moment. It does not mean that you will change your thinking, but it does mean that you will evaluate the alternatives on their merits and modify your thinking if the evaluation warrants that change.


I started learning magic at 17. I am now 64. In all those years I have never witnessed ANYTHING paranormal. I have seen a lot of BS

Gary K

I recently asked a true-believer here what it would take to change his mind. "Nothing" was his answer. That would be the definition of closed-minded. Open-minded is the opposite of that; willingness to change your mind and receptiveness to new ideas. It's good to have an open mind. Just not so open your brains fall out.


The second one. Someone able to listen to beliefs different from their own, and change their own beliefs according to new evidence.


a person who is willing to change his opinions


In my view "open minded" means being receptive to new evidence, and willing to change my opinions and beliefs based on it. It doesn't mean gullibly accepting extraordinary claims without evidence. . .


I'm with Murzy- somebody who is willing to change his opinion (based on new evidence). Those who believe in ghosts uncritically are not open-minded, nor are those who believe there's no such thing as paranormal activity. Both positions show an unwillingness to really consider new evidence. I for one am quite interested in researchers out on the fringe. There is some fascinating work on establishing life after death- proving the whole notion of floating over your body while doctors try to recussitate it. This research is reported in peer reviewed journals, a very high quality source for information. I don't categorically reject the idea, nor am I willing embrace it yet. I'm waiting for more research. That is being open-minded.

Raro Fidelis

It works both ways, not only for discarding paranormal beliefs but also for taking them on if good evidence for them is found.


To me it indicates that someone will actually consider another viewpoint.


DO not confuse an "open Mind " with "A hole in their head"----the latter is closer to the definition

Mr. P

It would mean that you hold a set of values but are open to the possibility that you may change those depending on new information. Close minded would be that you hold those values based on previous study and are not open to change them despite any new evidence. A lot of scientists are close minded because they believe what they have been taught and will not pursue new evidence if it will make them look silly in academic circles.