Do you like to make small talk? Do you prefer one-to-one conversations or group activities? These questions and many others often show up in personality quizzes to reveal how introverted or extroverted you are, but what does that really mean? Here’s what science tells us about extroversion and introversion.
Extroversion and introversion (E/I) are recognized as core aspects of people’s personalities. Today, they are included as part of a number of different personality scales, including the ever-popular Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Big Five Aspects Scales, but the idea of E/I goes back nearly a century. In the 1920s, noted psychologist Carl Jung coined the terms „introverted“ and „extroverted“ in his 1920s work, Psychologische Typen (Psychological Types). In his model, differences between the personalities basically boil down to energy: Extroverted people are energized by social interactions, whereas those same engagements are energetically taxing for introverts. So after attending a party or other social gathering, introverts need time alone to „recharge.“ Extroverts are typically thought of as those people who are outspoken, outgoing and predominately concerned with what’s going on with the outer world. Introverts, by contrast, are quiet, reflective and focused on the inner (mental) world. However, E/I is often seen as a kind of continuum, with people exhibiting a mix of introverted and extroverted tendencies — „ambiverts“ fall somewhere in the middle of this continuum….. read more