People who are open to new experiences can take in more visual information than other people and combine it in unique ways. This may explain why they tend to be particularly creative. There’s some evidence that people with a greater degree of openness also have better visual awareness. For example, when focusing on letters moving on a screen, they are more likely to notice a grey square appearing elsewhere on the display.
Anna Antinori at the University of Melbourne asked 123 university students to complete a binocular rivalry test, in which they simultaneously saw a red image with one eye and a green image with the other eye for 2 minutes.
Usually, the brain can only perceive one image at a time, and most participants reported seeing the image flip between red and green. But some subjects saw the two images fused into a patchwork of red and green – a phenomenon known as “mixed percept”. The higher the participants scored for openness on a personality questionnaire, the more they experienced this mixed perception.
Previous work by her team has found that psilocybin increases a person’s openness scores in a personality questionnaire, and their experience of mixed percept in binocular rivalry tests. The team has also found that some forms of meditation can increase mixed image perception in binocular rivalry tests.
The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill did $17.2 billion in damage to the natural resources in the Gulf of Mexico, a team of scientists recently found in the first comprehensive appraisal of the financial value of the natural resources damaged by the 134-million-gallon spill.
To estimate Gulf Coast resource values, researchers created a scenario in which people were told that they could have a role in mitigating future damages by effectively paying for a prevention program. Final analysis showed that the average household was willing to pay $153 for a prevention program. This rate was then multiplied by the number of households sampled to get the final valuation of $17.2 billion.
The project team administered surveys to a large random sample of American adults nationwide after three years of survey development. The first round of surveys was administered face-to-face with trained interviewers while the remaining surveys were completed via mail.