From madness to genius: The Openness/Intellect trait domain as a paradoxical simplex

Colin G. DeYoung, Rachael G. Grazioplene, Jordan B. Peterson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    215 Scopus citations


    A novel theory of Openness/Intellect is proposed, which integrates intelligence and positive schizotypy (or apophenia, false detection of patterns or causal connections) within the Big Five. Openness/Intellect comprises a simplex of subtraits arrayed along a single scaling dimension. Openness traits fall in one half of the simplex, bounded by apophenia; Intellect traits fall in the other half, bounded by intelligence. The simplex is paradoxical because intelligence and apophenia are negatively correlated despite both loading positively on the general Openness/Intellect factor. The model was supported in two samples and organizes theories of (1) the relation of intelligence and schizotypy to personality, (2) the psychological and biological mechanisms involved in Openness/Intellect, and (3) the costs and benefits of Openness, proximally and evolutionarily.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)63-78
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Research in Personality
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2012


    • Apophenia
    • Intellect
    • Intelligence
    • Openness to Experience
    • Schizotypy


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