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Extroversion and Introversion / Extroverts and Introverts

Экстраверсия и Интроверсия / Экстраверты и Интроверты

Introversion - extraversion - a criterion of categorization common in psychology or an indicator of measuring personality traits. The most famous are two slightly different concepts of introversion - extroversion belonging to Karl Jung and Hans Eisenck. In psychiatry, the interpretation of C. Leonhard is also known.

The terms introversion and extraversion were first introduced by Jung, but their understanding and use in psychology are different from the original meaning. Rather, focusing on interpersonal behavior, Jung, however, defined introversion as “a behavioral type characterized by the orientation of life toward subjective mental content” (focus on internal mental activity); and extraversion as a “behavioral type characterized by a concentration of interests on external objects,” (external world).

Extraversion is manifested in a friendly, talkative, energetic behavior, while introversion is manifested in a more closed and secluded behavior. Extroversion and introversion are usually considered as a single dimension space. Therefore, high rates of one characteristic imply low rates of another.

In fact, all complex psychological typologies and many psychological tests contain these characteristics in different forms. Examples include the Big Five model, Jung’s analytic psychology, Hans Eisenck’s three-factor personality theory, 16 Raymond Cattell’s personality factors, the Minnesota multi-faceted personality questionnaire, Myers-Briggs typology.

Экстраверсия и Интроверсия / Экстраверты и Интроверты Экстраверсия и Интроверсия / Экстраверты и Интроверты

The concepts

The main criterion that distinguishes between extroverts and introverts, Carl Jung considered the "direction of movement of the libido." According to Jung, extraversion is manifested in the orientation of the person's libido (vital energy) to the outside world, in that the extrovert prefers the social and practical aspects of life, operations with real external objects, and the introvert prefers immersion in the world of imagination and thought. An extrovert is aimed at wasting one's own energy, moving it towards surrounding objects, an introvert is aimed at accumulating, moving energy into the inner world. Introversion is one of the archetypal manifestations of the collective unconscious. Analyzing the differences in the concepts of two other prominent representatives of dynamic psychology, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Adler, Jung believes that essentially similar concepts of these authors differ due to the different nature of their authors. If the first, according to Jung, is an introvert, which forces him to search for the mechanisms of the psyche in the depths of the inner world, then the second, as an extrovert, considers the human psyche in a social context, considering the desire for social superiority as the basis of libido.

Hans Eisenck borrowed the term "extraversion" from Jung when creating his dispositional model. Eisenck found that in different studies conducted by different research groups, personality parameters consistently vary in their degree of orientation to social relations, as opposed to orientation to reflection, feelings, feelings. These concepts are poles of a superfactor - a complex of personality traits that correlate with each other, which is genetically determined. A typical Eysenck extrovert is sociable, optimistic, impulsive, has a wide circle of acquaintances and weak control over emotions and feelings. A typical introvert is calm, shy, distant from everyone except close people, plans his actions in advance, loves order in everything and keeps his feelings under strict control. The Jungian term came in handy in this situation. Moreover, it turned out that extraversion could be one of the basic personality traits that Eysenck, in the end, identified three.

In psychiatry, the interpretation of Leonhard is widespread, which borrowed the earliest interpretation of these concepts by Jung and rethought it: according to Leonhard, an extrovert is a weak-willed personality, influenced by outside, an introvert is a strong-willed personality. At the same time, Leonhard's typology is psychiatric, not psychological, and refers primarily to pathologies. If we are not talking about pathologies, then such terms of psychology as the locus of control (internal and external), externalism and internalism (R.L. Akoff and Emery) and others are close to interpretation by Leonhard (but not Jung) of this term.

Subsequently, extraversion as a personality trait shows its viability, remaining in such modern models as the Big Five (John et al., 2008) or HEXACO (Ashton et al., 2004).


Extroverts and introverts are characterized by a difference in behavior. According to one study, extroverts tend to wear more decorative clothing, while introverts prefer practical, comfortable clothing. Extroverts more often like more lively, traditional and energetic music than introverts. Character traits also affect how people organize their workspace. In general, extroverts decorate their offices more, keep their doors open, keep several spare chairs nearby, and are more likely to put candy plates on their desktop. They tend to invite other employees and encourage interaction. Introverts, on the contrary, decorate less and try to isolate their workspace from social interaction.

People are complex and unique, and since introversion-extroversion is a continuous dimension space, people can have a combination of characteristics of both types. A person who behaves like an introvert in one situation can behave like an extrovert in another, and people can study the behavior of the “opposite type” in some situations. Jung’s theory is based on the fact that if a person’s primary function is extraverted, then the secondary is always introversive (and vice versa).

Ambiverts (diaverts)

Since the frequency distribution in the normal population is centered on the middle section of the scale of introversion - extroversion, most people can be attributed to ambivers. An ambivert is a person with average scores on this scale.

The terms "extraversion" and "introversion" have become popular thanks to Carl Jung

Extroverts will be able to better know and understand introverts - which will help in close communication, and in business, and in any joint activity. Introverts will be able to feel more confident, get rid of the guilty feelings imposed by society and, ultimately, improve their own lives - without trying to expose them to alien stereotypes. Those who work with the team or team will be able to interact more effectively with “quiet” colleagues, better use their strengths.

The terms “extraversion” and “introversion” became popular thanks to Carl Jung and his monumental work, “Psychological Types,” published in 1921.

According to Jung, extroverts are mainly focused on the world around them, they quickly get involved in events happening around, and if events and communication with people are not enough for them, they feel discomfort.

Introverts are concentrated mainly on the inner world, on thoughts, experiences, they are inclined to first comprehend the events that are taking place, and to restore strength they need to be alone.

Now, regarding extraversion-introversion, scientists do not have a single concept: not everyone adheres to Jung's theory. However, experts agree that the difference between these two types is in the degree of comfort for them of the external impact.

Introverts and extroverts work differently

Extroverts often take up work right away, make quick (though not always right) decisions, multitask, are not afraid to take risks, are more focused on money and status.

Introverts usually do not immediately get involved in work, but they act more thoroughly, are single-tasking, are well able to concentrate on their work; fame and fortune usually mean less to them.

Introverts and extroverts interact differently in society

Extroverts are usually self-confident, talkative (sometimes excessive), easily engage in dialogue, tend to dominate the company. Conflict does not scare them - but depresses loneliness.

Introverts, as a rule, quickly get tired of intensive communication, prefer to spend time with close friends and relatives. They are more listeners than speakers, and express their thoughts in writing better than verbally. They do not like conflicts and “easy”, non-binding conversations, preferring in-depth discussion of the topic.

"Introversion" is not a synonym for "shyness"

“Introversion” is not a synonym for “shyness”, although these two qualities can be combined in one person. An extrovert may also be shy.

To determine whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, the author offers a questionnaire - you must answer “true” or “false” to each of the items:

  • I prefer face-to-face conversations to groups of people
  • I better manage to express my thoughts in writing
  • I find pleasure alone
  • I think that wealth, celebrity and social status interest me less than my peers
  • I don’t like to talk about trifles, but I enjoy deep discussions about things interesting to me
  • I am often told that I am a good listener
  • I do not like to take much risk
  • I like to immerse myself in work and I can not stand it when they interrupt me
  • I prefer to celebrate my birthday with several close friends or relatives.
  • I am considered a calm and gentle person
  • I do not like to discuss my affairs until they are completed.
  • I don't like conflicts
  • Best i manage to work alone
  • I usually think over my words before speaking
  • I feel exhaustion from a long stay at various events, even in a comfortable atmosphere
  • I often do not answer calls, giving me a chance to chat with an answering machine
  • In the weekend I would rather not do anything than spend time actively
  • I don't like to do many tasks at the same time
  • I can concentrate without difficulty
  • In my studies, I prefer lectures to seminars.

If you answered “yes” to most of the questions, you are an introvert, if “wrong” - an extrovert. If the answers are “true” and “false” approximately equally - you are an ambivalent.

Many introverts are sensitive

Many introverts are sensitive - that is, highly sensitive to certain signals from the environment, both pleasant and unpleasant: such people get more pleasure from beautiful music and are much more vulnerable to injustice. They were often shy in childhood, and even in adulthood they are extremely confused by the situation where they are somehow appreciated.

Via "Introverts. How to Use Features of Your Character," Susan Kane & wiki