The truth about introverts and extroverts

People have been wondering if they are introverts or extroverts, and scientists have been trying to figure out who is smarter. Subscribe to our Telegram channel. We often publish such valuable articles!

With the test Menteora, find out if you are an introvert or an extrovert. As a bonus, artificial intelligence will list the most suitable professions for you. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% (read about Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).

Who are introverts?

An introvert is a person whose energy is directed inward. He is not bored with himself. He is calm, reasonable, attentive to details, and cautious in decisions.

Introverts sometimes seem gloomy, withdrawn, and completely antisocial. But at heart, they are sweethearts. It’s just that social contacts take energy from them.

In the inner circle of an introvert — two or three people. Taciturn with strangers, he is ready for hours to discuss exciting topics with those he loves.

Loneliness for an introvert is the lack of involvement in someone else’s life. He can be lonely even in a crowd. An evening with a favorite book or a contemplative walk is the best way for an introvert to recuperate.


Who are extroverts?

An extrovert is a person whose energy is directed to the outside world. He is friendly, open, and active. Looks at everything with optimism. Not afraid to take the initiative and be a leader.

Because of their impulsiveness, extroverts sometimes seem empty. But do not confuse emotionality with superficiality.

Extroverts draw energy from communication. Loneliness for an extrovert is when there is not a soul around, there is no one to have a word with. They have many friends and acquaintances.

Extroverts are fun. They will go to a club or invite guests to avoid getting bogged down in a routine and kindle an inner fire.


What about Carl Gustav Jung?

In 1921, Carl Gustav Jung published Psychological Types. In it, he introduced the concepts of extraversion and introversion. Jung considered extroverts and introverts through the prism of the predominant mental function — thinking or feeling, sensation or intuition.

Many scientists have addressed and are still addressing the real work of Carl Jung. The extravertive-introvertive typology formed the basis of the Myers-Briggs theory, the Big Five personality model, and Raymond Cattell’s 16-factor questionnaire. Read What is the personality test Menteora?

In the 1960s, Jung’s ideas were taken up by the British psychologist Hans Eysenck. He interpreted extraversion and introversion through the processes of excitation and inhibition. Introverts are uncomfortable in noisy, crowded places as their brain processes more information per unit of time.

Are introverts smarter?

Many psychologists, sociologists, and neuroscientists worldwide are trying to figure this out. So far, without success. But the more research is done, the more it becomes clear that the brains of extroverts and introverts work differently.

The line of demarcation is dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain and is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction. In the course of a scientific experiment, it was found that extroverts in a state of excitement have potent activity in the tonsils and nucleus accumbens. The former is responsible for the process of emotional stimulation, and the nucleus is part of the dopamine system (pleasure center).

Extroverts and introverts produce dopamine similarly, but the reward system responds differently. For extroverts, the processing of stimuli takes less time. They are less sensitive to dopamine. To get their “dose of happiness,” they need it along with adrenaline. Read Happiness formula.

Introverts, on the other hand, are overly sensitive to dopamine. Their stimuli travel a long and complex path in brain regions. Another neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, plays a significant role in their reward system. It helps to reflect, concentrate on the task at hand, work productively for a long time, and feel good during the internal dialogue.

Read Do introverts and extroverts use different hemispheres of the brain?

How do I know if I’m an introvert or an extrovert?

Gray-Wheelwright tests and the Jungian Type Index (JTI) questionnaire are usually used to determine the type according to Jung. Psychologists also use the Eysenck personality questionnaire. You can pass a more straightforward test or analyze your behavior at the household level.

You are an introvert if:

  • you usually think first, act later;
  • do not seek to expand the circle of communication;
  • hate small talk. Often answer questions in monosyllables;
  • avoid crowded events and public speaking;
  • text even when it’s more efficient to call.

You are an extrovert if:

  • you often do first, think later;
  • constantly get to know someone;
  • love communication, you can easily talk to a stranger on the street;
  • once a week or more often go to parties, concerts, and exhibitions;
  • call even when you can write a message.

I’m not too fond of either one or the other. Who am I?

Introversion and extraversion do not exist in their pure form. “Such a person would be in a madhouse,” he said. The author of the popular book "Introverts. How to use the features of your character“ Susan Kane.

Every person has traits of an extrovert and an introvert. Signs of one or the other may prevail depending on age, environment, and mood.

Most of the time, people in the middle of the introversion-extroversion scale are called ambiverts (or diverts) (read Check if you are an ambivert).

Ambiverts are not ringleaders but can enthusiastically participate in what they like. Activity is replaced by passivity and vice versa: the company’s soul can quickly become a shy, quiet person (read How to stop being shy: 10 effective methods). In some situations, ambiverts chat uncontrollably; in others, words must be dragged out of them with ticks. Sometimes they work well in a team, but some tasks prefer to be solved alone. Read Ambiverts are better leaders than extroverts and introverts. Why is it so?

How do introverts and extroverts interact?

The first step to effective communication is respect for individual differences.

If your friend is an introvert:

  • Don’t expect an instant response. Introverts need time to process information.
  • To draw his attention to something important, write him a letter or message.
  • At a party, do not pester him with questions: “Well, why are you silent? Are you bored?”. Let him settle in.
  • Don’t invade his personal space. Let him be alone if he wants. Never take the taciturnity and isolation of an introvert personally.

If your friend is an extrovert:

  • Be patient — let him talk. The more carefully you listen, the faster you find a rational grain.
  • Do not be offended that he ignores written messages. If you expect him to act, call. In the meantime, be sure to ask how things are going.
  • At the party, please do not leave him unattended — direct his energy in a constructive direction.
  • To please an extrovert, agree to his next adventure.

Read How do introverts and extroverts understand each other?

Take the Menteora career guidance test; artificial intelligence will name your most suitable professions. The accuracy of the test is 70-80% because we use a mathematical-statistical algorithm (read about  Menteora's unique career guidance methodology).