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Extraversion and Introversion / Extraverts 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 well-known two slightly different notions of introversion are extraversions belonging to Karl Jung and Hans Aysenck. In psychiatry, the interpretation of K. Leonhard is also known.

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

Extroversion is manifested in a friendly, talkative, energetic behavior, while introversion is manifested in a more closed and lonely behavior. Extroversion and introversion are usually considered as a single measurement space. Therefore, high performance of one characteristic implies low performance 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 analytical psychology, Hans Eisenk’s three-factor personality theory, Raymond Cattell’s 16 personality factors, Minnesota’s multidimensional personality questionnaire, Myers-Briggs typology.

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


The main criterion for distinguishing extroverts and introverts, Karl Jung considered "the direction of movement of the libido." According to Jung, extraversion is manifested in the direction of the libido (life energy) of a person to the outside world, that the extrovert prefers social and practical aspects of life, operations with real external objects, and the introvert prefers to dive into the world of imagination and reflection. The extrovert is aimed at wasting its own energy, moving it towards the surrounding objects, the introvert is 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 in essence the similar concepts of these authors differ because of the different vertigo of their authors. If the first, according to Jung, is an introvert, which forces him to look for the mechanisms of the psyche in the depths of the inner world, the second, being an extrovert, considers the human psyche in a social context, considering the desire for social superiority as the basis of libido.

Hans Eysenck borrows the term "extraversion" from Jung when creating his dispositional model. Aysenck found that in different studies conducted by different research groups, the parameters of the individual consistently vary in the degree of their orientation to social relations as opposed to the orientation to reflection, feelings, feelings. These concepts are the poles of a superfactor - a complex of correlated personality traits that are genetically determined. A typical extrovert for Aysenko is sociable, optimistic, impulsive, has a wide circle of acquaintances and poor control over emotions and feelings. A typical introvert is calm, shy, distant from all but close people, plans his actions in advance, loves order in everything and keeps his feelings under strict control. The Jungian term came in very handy. Moreover, it turned out that extraversion can be one of the basic personality traits that Aysenck finally identified three.

In psychiatry, the interpretation of Leonhard is widespread, which borrowed the earliest interpretation of these concepts according to Jung and rethought it: according to Leonhard, an extrovert is a weak-willed person, subject to influence from the outside, an introvert is a volitional person. At the same time, the typology of Leonhard 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 (RL Akoff and Emery), etc., are close to the interpretation of Leongard (but not by Jung).

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).


Extroverters and introverts have a difference in behavior. According to one study, extroverts tend to wear more decorative clothing, while introverts prefer practical, comfortable clothing. Extroverts often love more lively, traditional and energetic music than introverts. Character traits also influence how people organize their work space. In general, extroverts decorate their offices more, keep their doors open, keep several spare chairs close by, and are more likely to place plates of candy on their desk. They are characterized by attempts to invite other employees and encourage interaction. Introverts, on the contrary, decorate less and try to isolate their working space from social interaction.

People are complex and unique, and since introversion-extraversion 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 may behave like an extrovert in another, and people may 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 extraversive, then the secondary is always introversive (and vice versa).

Ambiverts (diaverts)

Since the frequency distribution in a normal population is centered on the middle segment of the introversion-extraversion scale, most people can be classified as ambiverts. Ambivert is a person with averages on this scale.

The terms "extraversion" and "introversion" became popular thanks to Karl Jung

Extroverts will be able to better learn 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 feeling of guilt imposed by society and, ultimately, improve their own lives - without seeking to substitute it under alien stereotypes. But those who work with a team or team will be able to more effectively interact with "quiet" colleagues, better to use their strengths.

The terms "extraversion" and "introversion" became popular thanks to Karl 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 the events around them, and if they don’t have enough of events and communication with people, they feel uncomfortable.

Introverts are focused mainly on the inner world, on thoughts, experiences, they tend to first comprehend the events taking place, and they need to be alone in order to restore their strength.

Now, about extraversion-introversion, scientists have no 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 by external influence.

Introverts and extroverts work differently

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

Introverts are usually not immediately involved in work, but they are more solid, mono-tasking, they are perfectly able to concentrate on their work; fame and wealth usually mean less to them.

Introverts and extroverts interact in different ways in society

Extroverts are usually self-confident, talkative (sometimes redundant), easily engaged in dialogue, tend to dominate the company more likely. They are not afraid of conflicts - but depressed loneliness.

Introverts, as a rule, rather 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 "light", non-binding conversations, preferring a deep discussion of the topic.

“Introversion” is not a synonym for “shyness”

“Introversion” is not synonymous with “shyness”, although in one person these two qualities can be combined. Shy can be an extrovert.

To determine whether you are an extrovert or an extrovert, the author suggests a questionnaire - you must answer "correctly" or "incorrectly" with each of the points:

  • I prefer one-on-one conversations with people
  • I am better able 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 do not like talking about trifles, but I enjoy deep discussions about things that are interesting to me.
  • I am often told that I am a good listener.
  • I do not like to risk much
  • I like to plunge into work, and I do not like it when they interrupt me
  • I prefer to celebrate my birthday with a few close friends or relatives
  • I am considered a calm and gentle person
  • I do not like to discuss their affairs until their completion
  • I don't like conflicts
  • Best of all I manage to work alone
  • I usually think things over before I speak.
  • I feel exhaustion from a long stay at all sorts of events, even in a comfortable atmosphere
  • I often do not answer calls, giving a chance to talk to the answering machine
  • On the weekend I would rather do nothing than spend time actively
  • I don't like to do a lot of tasks at the same time.
  • I can easily concentrate
  • In school I prefer lectures to seminars.

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

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 the beautiful music and much more vulnerable to injustice. They were often shy in childhood, and even in an adult state they are extremely embarrassed by the situation where they are somehow evaluated.

Via "Introverts. How to use your personality traits", Susan Kane & wiki