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Introvert Vs. Extrovert: Science Says Most People Can Have Both Personality Traits

First Posted: Nov 03, 2016 04:15 AM EDT
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Popular psychology has made known the idea that the spectrum of chattiness defines people's personalities — one being an introvert and the other being an extrovert. However, experts say that a single person can actually have both personality traits. The truth is it can even be more complicated than that.

An extrovert is commonly depicted as one who draws energy from socializing, while an introvert is believed to tap into power within solitude. According to CNN, author Susan Cain defines introversion as the preference for quieter and more minimally stimulating environments.

Cain added that introversion and shyness are often seen as synonymous, and such fact creates one of the common problems. On the other hand, psychologist Rebecca Shiner from the Colgate University said it is hard to form a solid concept around shyness because there are numerous reasons why people don't like to socialize.

Moreover, there is a term called "temperament" which psychologists define as the personality's raw ingredients. Shiner, who co-edited the Handbook of Temperament, said personality traits are actually the full expression of temperamental traits. Experts say it is better to analyze a person's life to understand how personality traits manifest. According to them, the roots of what are defined as introversion or extroversion are positive emotionality, negative emotionality, extroversion, and neuroticism. In connection to this, Shiner said positive and negative emotionality are orthogonal, meaning how a person stand on one is unrelated to another. As such, a highly extroverted person can be highly neurotic at the same time.

Meanwhile, The American Genius reported that while the world has an extrovert bias, it is important to take note that both personality traits have advantages. For instance, introverts are less prone to untimely death caused by predators because they prefer to just stay at home, and extroverts are more likely to survive amidst food scarcity due to their ability to explore.

In hindsight, experts suggest that people would limit their lives if they identify themselves in just a single trait. A person can be an introvert, extrovert, and also neurotic at the same time.

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