Do you hate details? Do you prefer to act without all the information? Do you love chaos? If so, you might be a great Republican president, as well as a much happier person, because of your novelty-seeking behaviors.
For many years, such behavior was decried and even linked to ADHD, compulsive disorders, and criminal behavior! But that’s about to change, because researchers are getting some new information:
Now, though, after extensively tracking novelty-seekers, researchers are seeing the upside. In the right combination with other traits, it’s a crucial predictor of well-being.
“Novelty-seeking is one of the traits that keeps you healthy and happy and fosters personality growth as you age,” says C. Robert Cloninger, the psychiatrist who developed personality tests for measuring this trait. The problems with novelty-seeking showed up in his early research in the 1990s; the advantages have become apparent after he and his colleagues tested and tracked thousands of people in the United States, Israel and Finland.
Though novelty-seeking can lead to antisocial behavior (digging up corpses and eating them, or perhaps ritualistically killing hitchhikers), if it’s combined with the empathic sense that other people exist, it can make you more adventurous and curious about the world around you.
According to these so-called “neophiliacs,” humans are by nature a neophilic species–they argue that it may have prompted our migrations across the globe. There’s even some genetic evidence to suggest that certain far-flung migratory groups possess the mutation that creates novelty-seeking in the brain (that explains why Inuits love skydiving!).
So the next time that your friends get annoyed with you because you never pay attention to them, constantly forget their birthdays, kill their pets by “accident,” and never shut up about the 52 random after-hours parties that are happening right now dammit let’s go! you can just tell them that you’ll be happier in the long run.
Now go snort a line off that shaman’s ass–you know you want to!