Openness to Experience is one of the Big Five factors of personality, used by modern psychological researchers to describe how apt a person is to engage in abstract thinking.
Openness to Experience describes a cognitive style that distinguishes imaginative, creative people from practical, conventional people. People who score highly on Openness are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and interested in new ideas. People who are low in this dimension tend to have common, conventional interests, and prefer the simple and familiar to the novel or complex.
Most artists, scientists, and academics are high in Openness. Low scorers tend to prefer occupations that are concrete and traditional, for instance police work, health care, or sales.
Openness also relates to political affiliation. High Openness people tend to be more liberal, while low Openness people tend to be more conservative.