Recent research using the Big Five model of personality traits has highlighted the importance of personality traits to explaining diverse political behaviours and attitudes. The trait labelled openness to experience has also been found to positively affect political knowledge. This investigation seeks to distinguish two different components of openness: the aesthetic and the intellectual facets. An analysis of the 2015 Canadian Election Study (CES), the 2012 American National Election Study (ANES) and the 2013 ANES Recontact Study was conducted to explore this question. Openness had no significant impact on political knowledge when a measure that more precisely targets intellectualism, as represented by need for cognition, was included. However, open individuals did exhibit higher levels of interest in politics. Finally, openness to experience and need for cognition fostered political knowledge with frequency of political discussion and exposure to disagreement in the CES respondents (Canadians) but not in the ANES respondents (Americans).