Work and World

Introverts Vs Extroverts

some of us like to spend our weekend with a book in hand while others prefer a night out being the center of attention but from a scientific perspective is there an advantage to being an introvert or an extrovert which is better the idea of two polar personalities was first described by Swiss German psychologist Carl Jung who coined the terms introversion and extraversion Jung’s theory was further elaborated upon by hans eysenck a German psychologist who defined introverts and extroverts by their baseline arousal extroverts with their lower level of arousal would need to do more exciting things that would physically and mentally exhausting introvert in order to reach satisfaction so while an introvert might be content with a leisurely bike ride through a quiet park an extrovert might need to hit the dirt roads in order to feel mentally satisfied brain scans show a thicker prefrontal cortex in introverts compared to extroverts which is associated with deeper thought and planning suggesting that extroverts may be more impulsive than introverts who prefer to mull things over instead of directly springing into action but because of this tendency to ruminate in introverts they’re also more susceptible to developing anxiety and depression extroverts also respond more strongly to rewards with brain scans showing a significantly more activated dopamine reward system than introverts when completing and winning a computerised gambling task and given that were social animals dopamine is also released when interacting with other humans this was especially important as hunter-gatherers who relied upon others for both food and protection from predators however human connection has a greater impact on extroverts than introverts in fact it’s been shown that the brains of extroverts respond more strongly when shown photos of human faces compared to neutral photos of nature but for introverts the brain response is similar between the two now that’s not to say that introverts don’t feel any excitement from winning or that they strongly dislike being around people but they simply don’t feel as excited and don’t require as much social interaction in order to feel good in terms of genetics there may be an evolutionary advantage to each trait for instance introverts might have stuck to the sidelines to avoid predators while extroverts would roam and explore giving them an advantage food is scarce a study involving 130 participants discovered that those who are more inclined to be adventurous had two copies of one particular allele reinforcing the idea that these personality traits are partially linked to genetics in many ways our society has an extraversion bias where qualities like putting yourself out there are highly valued our institutions are also often designed with the extrovert in mind where group work is a popular practice in most schools and workplaces with the idea that creativity comes from a sociable place however as social animals we instinctively mimic others opinions without realizing it suggesting that your brainstorming sessions with others may not always be productive when we disagree with the group neuroscientists have shown high activation in the amygdala a part of the brain associated with the sting of rejection when we think of introverts shyness and the preference to be alone often come to mind but in reality introverts may simply prefer close conversations with one or a few people instead of dozens furthermore introverts may even be better public speakers as they’re known to think through ideas thoroughly compared to extroverts who may choose to make rash decisions instead but perhaps you are an ambivert right in the middle of the introvert extrovert Venn diagram combining the best of both worlds a recent study involving 340 call center representatives had their sales record tracked for a period of three months those who were neither strong extroverts or introverts generated the most revenue averaging 208 dollars per hour compared to the study average of 138 per hour so what do you see yourself as and do you think one is better than the other let us know in the comments below special thanks to audible for supporting this episode to give you a free 30-day trial at slash ASAP this week we wanted to recommend the book introvert power why your inner life is your hidden strength which analyzes strategies for introverts to excel living in an extroverted world you can get a free 30-day trial at slash ASAP and choose from a massive selection we love them as they’re great when you’re on the go and subscribe for more weekly science videos
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