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 extroversion
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 exhaust an 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 computerized gambling task
And given that we're 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 similarly 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 when food is scarce
A study involving 130 participants discovered that those who were 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 extroversion 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 a 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
The employees gathered together to brainstorm ideas for their new product.
Brainstorming creates new ideas and solves problems faster.
5the best of both worlds3:26 the best of both worlds 是指「兼具看似兩種對立事物的優點於一身」，也就是「兩全其美」的意思。
Living in the suburbs, I can enjoy the best of both worlds. Both the city and countryside are just an hour's drive away.
Growing up Asian-American gave me the best of both worlds. I'm proud of both cultures.
*同場加映： EF 國際語言學校 美國加州洛杉磯雷東多海灘 (EF Los Angeles - Redondo Beach, California, USA)
小編推薦大家 Google 搜尋 Personality test based on Jung and Briggs Myers typology「根據榮格與邁爾斯-布里格斯分類法的性格測驗」，測驗結果會有四個字母，總共有 16 個組合，可看出你是 extroverted（外向）還是 introverted（內向）、偏好 thinking（思考）或是 feeling（感覺）等等，很有趣喔！小編個人是 INFP，也就是 Introverted（內向）, Intuition（直覺）, Feeling（情感）, Perceiving（感知）。歡迎在下方留言分享你的結果！