A comment to my article for new HP writers on how best to use and participate in the HP community received a comment from someone wondering if since writing is a solitary pursuit, that writers are more likely to be introverts than extroverts.
My reply was as follows: I've run into both introvert, extroverts and some balanced folks as well in writing groups I've been in over the years. Maybe more introverts but maybe also the extroverts are more likely to come out to critique and other writing groups while the introverts don't join these as often, I don't know. It seems that people are drawn to activities that are more in line with their personality, comfort zone and preferences so while it's not to say that extrovert won't fall in love with writing and become writers, perhaps those that plug away at blogs, article writing etc day in and day out are more likely to be introverts. Again - just a thought - I don't have data to figure this out.
I'm interested in seeing how many people out there are introverts and how many are extroverts to see if maybe at least within the HP community we can see whether this trends one way or the other.
So weigh in - Are you an Introvert or an Extrovert?
Myself - I'm definitely an introvert
I tend to be an extrovert but would not be surprised if other writers tend to be introverts or ambiverts. When I was writing my dissertation, my faculty advisor told me that I was “supposed” to be an introvert during this stage of my life because of all the research and work that I was doing. That comment went on deaf ears.
Sounds like a behavioral observation. If you're simply looking at outcomes, then you were technically introverted via whatever responsibilities you may have had at the time despite what you would've done otherwise.
A professor at Carnegie-Mellon University once told me that we spent a lot of time alone during those formative years when our heads were buried behind books.
Gregory - that's a bit of an odd comment, I think. Your personality doesn't change just because you are in a graduate program! In my PhD program which entailed near constant work, I'd say about half of our class (which granted was only 6 people) were extroverted and half were introverted. Though maybe at times we need to sublimate certain preferences or characteristics for limited periods based on something in which we are engaged or new situations we find ourselves in for a discrete period.
Thanks for weighing in!
Classical methods of measuring extroversion and introversion have become obsolete since the 1930's if you're using the Meyers-Briggs model based on Jung's notion of extroversion (which is not the same as the modern definition of extroversion). Today, extroversion has more to do with the level of positive emotion and arousal associated with social behavior.
Moreover, there could be a number of other factors that influence social behavior including one's base level of neuroticism (overall levels of negative emotion). or agreeableness (politeness and compassion). It's often the case that neuroticism and extroversion are negatively correlated (one goes up if the other one goes down, vice versa). Interestingly enough, women are higher in neuroticism than men on average but are also higher in agreeableness and extroversion. Females have a stronger genetic predisposition to care about people so there are usually unconscious/biologically driven forces that govern sociality as well.
Lastly, it isn't clear to me that modern methods of socializing are factored into the analysis extroversion or introversion. Here we are engaging in a social environment, albeit an artificial one. But we have to regard social media and discussion platforms as domains with which we act socially. What do you say about people who spend over 4 hours a day on Facebook but never leave their house? It's not obvious to me that they are either introverted or extroverted.
Lots to consider. I would consider myself a self-imposed introvert just because of my experiences and temperament which has changed considerably since my early 20's. But if I'm counting Hubpages, email and text messages, then I might fall somewhere closer to the middle.
Jesse - I think that Jung's personality theory in regards to introversion and extroversion still holds in terms of how we view the construct. Jung saw an introvert as someone whose interest is generally directed inward toward his own feelings and thoughts, as opposed to an extrovert, whose attention is directed toward other people and the outside world. The typical introvert is shy, contemplative, and reserved and can have difficulty adjusting to social situations (though this may be sometimes confounded by social anxiety which overlaps with introversion since we haven't always teased the two apart and someone who is socially anxious will appear to be introverted). Jung's conceptualization included factors such as excessive daydreaming and introspection, careful balancing of considerations before reaching decisions, and withdrawal when stressed as being typical of the introverted personality. He viewed the extrovert, as being characterized by "outgoingness", responsiveness to other persons, activity, aggressiveness, and the ability to make quick decisions. I wouldn't agree with a few of the characteristics from the research and personal experience in particular aggression listed as characteristic of an extrovert.
You make a good point in regards to the social nature of the construct in that introverts definitely need more "me" time to decompress from social situations more than extroverts do, when extroverts need it at all. At the same time, some of this is also likely confounded by the overlap with social anxiety and the tendency not to always understand that one in not the other and yet they may both look the same.
In regards to online behavior - I think that personality will still win out. An introvert may not seem as introverted online because it is easier to turn off your computer when needing to step away from social interaction and still participate at another time compared to in person social situations which require participation in real time. Just some thoughts in response to your comments. Thanks for challenging me to think about all this more carefully and thanks for the reply!
Thank you for the exceptionally well-thought response! I'm also impressed by your knowledge of Jung. He will forever be a puzzle to me.
My Ph.D. is in psychology ( : I know some about Jung but was trained behaviorally and am a cognitive behaviorist with eclectic leanings - I believing in doing what is best given the individual and situation. Jung is not an easy read for me either, he was extremely complex. That whole collective unconscious business completely blows my mind. As does his ability to step away from Freud when it was clear he'd never be able to have his opinions respected unless he did and would forever have to tow Freud's line including fighting his fight in the field especially in the States. Even as close as he was to Freud, he realized Freud was just not willing to budge no matter what on his theory nor would he consider any other. I seem to be rambling a bit - sorry - the Freud/Jung thing is really interesting to me in terms of all the personal dynamics.
I grew up listening to Campbell who was an excellent introduction to Jung. When I bought Jung's Red Book, I had no idea what kind of rabbit hole I was getting myself into. It will be a fun life-long project trying to decode it. Jungian archetypes and dream interpretations are my pet interests when I don't feel like coloring within the lines of science. It's a nice break from the soulless behaviorists lol.
I'm very excited to know a psychologist on HubPages. I always have questions that I wish I could shoot off to someone with your background. Do you have a practice? I, too, consider myself an eclectic. I come from an existential/humanistic perspective. I'm hoping this will serve me well when I become a licensed chemical dependency counselor. My success in recovery was largely thanks to self-actualization techniques and spiritual transformation. There are those who could benefit from classic behaviorist approaches to recovery but it would be nice to be able to reach the few who are open to more spiritual approaches.
I don't currently have a practice but am considering trying to work back towards that end. I miss the field and have taught, counseled, written, trained students, and done research over the years. I have been trying to keep up with a sort of column on here called the psychology query but haven't been getting as many questions as I once did so any question you think might be good to answer would be really helpful and appreciated. I don't use identifying info and you can send them through my direct mail if you want. Thanks for the interest!
Natalie, I appreciate your explanation of Jung because it's been years since I studied psychology. It also explains to me why I never liked the subject. I just always felt like some of the old philosophers were full of horse apples. LOL
Are you saying that introverts and extroverts are unbalanced? (Your exact words were "I've run into both introvert, extroverts and some balanced folks as well in writing groups I've been in over the years.")
Dr. Mark - I'm certainly not saying that introverts and extroverts are unbalanced, though I can see how my comment may suggest this, lol! It could seem, in contrast that, the balanced folks are actually just confused ( :
Thanks for bringing a smile to my face.
How about "I've run into both introvert, extroverts and some confused folks as well in writing groups I've been in over the years."
That works for me.
Ambiverts actually aren't confused they are just in the middle with perhaps just a leaning in one direction or the other or are extremely situation dependent with clear cut situations in which they are an introvert and others when they are an extrovert.
Writing, thinking, painting, and practicing a solo instrument usually require solitude and silence in order to succeed. Those with a natural capacity for these conditions are fortunate, in my opinion, in as much as they can totally concentrate. Community has its place for the introvert as well, because humans are sociable by nature, but not to the same extent.
Like you Natalie, I’m definitely an introvert, though I also appreciate community life. There’s a time for every season as the song goes.
Would somebody consider writing hub on this topic, at least some angle of it? I find it interesting, but it’s a little beyond my sphere.
Yes, I'm working on another article currently but will consider this one as well, when I have a spare minute. Or someone can ask it as a question on the article and I'll answer it that way. Thanks.
Natalie, I can tell you I grew up as an introvert. Growing up I had an accent and it was often mocked by other kids. As I got older, and my accent went away, I became more comfortable talking to people. I've always been quiet and shy. A friend suggested to get out of being so shy and try doing stand-up comedy an open mic nights. it was a real struggle, but I liked the instant response. Doing that helped me and now I would consider myself somewhat extroverted. I think life experiences and how people react to you will also have a major impact on how you react in social situations. It is also how you handle it. I didn't like being shy and worked to overcome it.
I’m the same way Mike: quite shy when young and still introverted now, but more gregarious as I grow older. The change happened naturally and I don’t attribute it to a conscious decision. There must be something to it because my dad and eldest brother are the same way- natural introverts who now are quite extroverted.
Im a ambivert. That is a extroverted introvert or a introverted extrovert. My writing is due to circumstances.
I am an extrovert and write my heart out. Whatever one decides to be and do is awesome. Writers write.
Isn’t it good that there’s a mixture in our world? If everyone were the life of the party, it would be challenging; if there were only introverts, there would be no parties:)
I agree that diversity is the spice of life!
I guess I'm an introvert, but I can be an extrovert when I'm out with others and having a good time. Can we be introverted in some areas and extroverted in others?
Natalie, I think I fall into the Introvert category as I have been always reserved and shy in communicating with others. But, what about these communicating platforms where you are able to freely discuss and participate in debates, maybe not orally but in written words. So, physically I am introvert and invisibly I am extrovert.
I agree with everyone here. Inside the group home, I am an extreme introvert, while outside the group home, with real friends and family members, I am a slight extrovert. That means that I'm isolated from the outside world.
I was born an extrovert and always have been. Because I love to talk to others, storytelling has been a passion of mine since I was in the first grade. I wanted to go into the theater but since I am so short, 5' tall, I chose broadcasting instead and discovered writing. Now that I'm older and have health problems, including problems with my voice, I find writing my thoughts to be much easier than talking to people. After thyroid surgery in 2010, when I try to carry on a conversation or do any kind of speaking for more than five or ten minutes, I lose my voice and my throat becomes very sore. For that reason I find myself avoiding parties and most other groups of people whom I used to enjoy. I love writing because I don't have to hurt myself straining my voice while talking to people. So I guess you might say that I've become introverted for that reason.
I'm sorry you went through that ordeal. I hope you make many friends on Hubpages. In fact, I'll be your friend. Just follow me by clicking on my profile.
Mizb, I also suffer from this kind of problem. If I try to read loudly anything for 10 minutes, my voice soars and it doesn't flow clearly. Words become broken. It is a defect for many years.
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