Introverts more intelligent
Are Introverts Smarter than Extroverts?
In Western society, extroversion is celebrated: the outgoing and enthusiastic nature of a person who gets things done and is a great communicator is considered an asset. Much of our public life is dominated by extraverts, such as Clinton and Thatcher, among others. In fact we're living in an "extrovert ideal."
Let's get this clear, introversion does not mean shyness. Shyness is a fear of social judgement. Our personality type determines and explains how we react to stimulus. Extroverts crave social stimulation, while introverts are at their best in quieter situations.
The Introverted Illusion
"A widely held, but rarely articulated, belief in our society is that the ideal self is bold, alpha, gregarious" - Susan Cain
In Western society, extroversion (properly, extraversion) is celebrated: the outgoing and enthusiastic nature of a person who gets things done and is a great communicator is considered an asset. Much of our public life is dominated by extraverts, such as Clinton and Thatcher, among others. In fact we're living in an "extrovert ideal:" in a University of North Carolina study, it was found that 96% of managers and executives display extravert characteristics.
"When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise."
At the same time, negative traits popularly associated with the extravert as well as the positive traits of the introvert make it appear that introverts are actually more intelligent. Excitability, a lack of self criticism, a tendency to speak before they think and a lack of internal contemplation are all associated with an extravert personality. On the other hand, quietness, seriousness and a tendency to detach themselves to go and consider things carefully make it seem that introverts are smarter.
Several studies exist to support our assumption that introverts are smarter. A study by "The Gifted Development Center" found that around 60% of gifted children are introverted (compared with 30-50% of the population) and that the same is true of 75% of highly gifted children.
A 'Different' Kind of Intelligence
True intelligence is notoriously hard to measure quantitatively. IQ scores are a popular choice used to approximate intelligence, and the Gifted Development Center report quoted above is based on IQ scores, but the usefulness of this is questionable.
Measuring intelligence by personality type is no easier. A 1985 report by Robinson (see p309 in the International Handbook of Personality and Intelligence) proposes that in verbal intelligence tests, introverts do well; whereas extraverts perform better when given written tests. You'll see from the Handbook that studies attempting to measure extravert versus introvert intelligence produce differing results.
In the Workplace
In business, Ray Williams in Psychology Today theorizes that both introverts and extraverts only do well when they have the social skills to back up their intelligence - in that matter, at least, they're similar.
The two personality types tend to affect the way one navigates through working life in different ways ("tend to" is the key phrase here - everyone lies somewhere on the spectrum between introvert and extravert and the degree of either will affect results). Extravert managers usually make their own distinctive stamp on work done by the people they manage, whereas introvert leaders allow their employees to find their own way and use their own creativity. For this and other examples of how the two types differ at work, you can watch Susan Cain's TED talk "The Power of Introverts."
A manager can harness the power of introvert and extravert employees by engaging them in a way that suits their personality. Cain believes that team-working is not always beneficial to an introverted worker - they need space to develop their own ideas, whereas extraverts thrive in an environment where they can bounce ideas off others.
Power of Invention
Some of the world's top inventors are introverts. Believed to be the most intelligent people in the world, they prefer to be alone to focus on their craft. Little to no social stimulation gets in the way of their thinking.
Bill Gates, Larry Page (founder of Google), Albert Einstein and Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple Computers) are all introverts.
Does this mean that there are no extravert inventors?
No. Steve Jobs was a classic extravert and a born salesman. He was also an innovator and visionary. But could he truly be called an inventor? It was Wozniak the introvert who single-handedly invented the first Apple computer.
Differently skilled is how we should look at introverts and extraverts, not more or less intelligent. Where introverts can create the most wonderful new ideas and inventions (and not all introverts can do that), talented extroverts can inspire and motivate (those with the right social skills, anyway).
So let's not focus too much on who is the most intelligent. Let's celebrate the yin and yang of the two and consider how strange a world it would be if everyone was either one or the other!
How do you leverage introverts in the workplace? Share with us in the comments below!
Relatedsmall businessextroverts vs introvertsWhat Is Working: Small Businesses
Before You Go
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Are Introverts Smarter Than Extroverts? (What Science Says)
Witty Companion Team
Introverts have been the subject of many misconceptions over time. One such misconception is that introverts are socially awkward or shy, and this assumption has led to a lot of people thinking they’re not very smart.
Likewise, an entirely different viewpoint is becoming increasingly popular — that introverts often have high IQ and are more intelligent than their outgoing counterparts!
So, are introverts smarter than extroverts?
Do introverts have a higher IQ?
In this article, we will take a deep dive into what science has to say about all of this and offer some of our own thoughts on the topic.
Introverts vs. Extroverts – What Difference Does It Make?
Before we look into whether introverts are more intelligent or not, we first need to understand what an introvert is.
An introvert is someone who prefers spending time alone or with a few close friends rather than large groups of people.
Introversion and extroversion are generally viewed as having different characteristics. Still, there is much debate over how right or wrong this is.
In 1921, psychologist Carl Jung proposed a theory that humans have both an extroverted side and an introverted side. He believed that each person’s personality falls somewhere on a spectrum between the two.
While many people can identify strongly with one end of the spectrum or the other, some people fall in the middle, demonstrating characteristics of both.
There are a few theories of why introversion and extroversion occur, but for the purposes of this article, we will look at the most popular few:
The Link Between Dopamine Levels & Extraversion
One theory suggests that our genetics cause us to behave in one way or another.
For example, people who have more dopamine (which research has linked with extroverted behavior) in their brains tend to lean more towards the extroverted side of things.
On the other hand, people who have lower levels of dopamine are more inclined to be introverted.
Brain Development – There May Be More To It
Another theory suggests that the development of our brains is what leads us to behave introvertedly or extrovertedly.
Apparently, the parts of our brain responsible for planning, problem-solving, and other important cognitive behavior are more active in introverts. This causes them to be more inclined towards spending time alone.
These brain parts are less active in extroverts, making them more likely to seek out social interactions.
As you can see, the findings of this study have begun to shed some light on our main questions about introverts and intelligence. So let’s get back to the main question.
Introversion and IQ – Are Introverts Smarter?
Here is the short answer:
No, introverts are not necessarily smarter than extroverts. While some studies link introversion and high intelligence, each person is unique, and broad generalizations are rarely possible and accurate.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the topic for those who want to know more.
First, we need to take two vital things into account when discussing this question:
- There are various types of intelligence (eight, actually!), so it would be factually incorrect to boil people’s intelligence down to a single definition.
- No two introverts nor extroverts are the same. Hence, it would also be wrong to assume anyone is intelligent based exclusively on the personality type they relate themselves to.
Many psychological studies have battled with the idea of finding different strengths and weaknesses of certain personality types.
A few of them have indeed proven that introverts are generally better at performing some tasks than extroverts. But naturally, the same can be said the other way around.
Here are a few interesting ones:
Study #1 – Introverts are better at problem-solving and planning.
A study conducted by psychologist Marti Olsen Laney found that introverts have higher activity levels in their prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for tasks such as problem-solving and planning, which does not necessarily indicate they are more intelligent. Instead, on average, they are simply better at these specific tasks than extroverts.
Furthermore, many other studies show that there is no correlation between introversion and IQ. For example, research done by psychologist Alan S. Kaufman suggests that introversion has nothing to do with IQ.
Study #2 – Extroverts are better at short-term memory tasks.
The second study we decided to include was done by the Department of Psychological Science at the University of North Georgia. They proved that extroverts are generally more impulsive and hence perform tasks faster than introverts.
The main reason for this is the analytical nature of introverts. The same trait makes them better at planning and problem-solving in the long run; they just like to take their time.
However, the surprising result of the study was the finding that introverts made more errors in these short-term memory tasks than extroverts, even though they took more time.
We found this study particularly interesting because it sheds new light on the entire discussion.
Study #3 – Extroverts perform better in learning tasks if there is a reward.
A study from 1995 showed that extroverts are actually better learners, provided there is a reward. We can link this with higher dopamine levels that we talked about previously.
And here is another interesting fact:
Since their dopamine levels are higher, extroverts respond better to rewards, while introverts are more sensitive to punishment!
Now, this isn’t an invitation to start punishing instead of rewarding yourself if you are an introvert. It’s merely a suggestion. (We are kidding, of course.)
So, are introverts smarter?
As you can see — not exactly. Introverts are very capable of being intelligent and successful just as much as extroverts are. It’s important to remember that many other factors are involved in intelligence, such as memory capacity, reasoning, visualization, etc.
So while it is true that introverts can be intelligent, it is not true that all smart people are introverts.
We all have our own unique skills and talents. So while introversion may help one person be more skilled at solving problems, some other introverts may excel at creative thinking.
For that reason, we also need to take into account which type of introvert you are.
4 Types of Introverts – Which One Are You?
There are four main types of introverts:
#1 – Reserved Introvert
Reserved introverts can be shy, but they generally progress past this as they get older and gain more self-confidence. They do not enjoy large crowds or lots of noise and often choose to avoid social situations involving many people.
However, their reserved nature does not mean they are socially awkward. On the contrary, reserved introverts tend to be very close with their group of friends and are generally excited to spend time with them.
They are also usually very creative people who enjoy art or writing.
Related: 12 Low-Cost Crafting Hobbies Ideas You Should Try Today
#2 – Introspective Introvert
Introspective introverts enjoy spending time around others but may find themselves withdrawing into themselves when they are overwhelmed. This type of behavior can lead people to assume that an introspective introvert is shy, but this isn’t the case at all.
They would just much rather be alone with their thoughts than be surrounded by a lot of people.
They value knowledge and often have interesting things to say, making it very easy for others to see them as more confident than they really are.
Related: Why is Confidence Important (And How It Leads to Success)
#3 – Solitary Introvert
Solitary introverts tend to be on the opposite end of the spectrum from reserved introverts and would much rather spend time with themselves than anyone else.
They often enjoy spending lots of time alone reading or pursuing their favorite hobby. As a result, they are often very dedicated to their interests and are goal-oriented people.
For this reason, they may sometimes seem rude when people approach them because they generally prefer to be left alone.
Related: Have No Friends? – The 7 Biggest Mistakes You May Be Making
#4 – Social Introvert
Unlike the previous group, social introverts actually like spending time with others but do not enjoy large parties or large social gatherings.
In many cases, they can be mistaken as extroverts because they enjoy social interactions, but only with people close to them. Still, they would much rather have a few close friends over for coffee than go to a party and may even choose solitary hobbies over social ones.
Related: 11 Social Hobbies to Get Into & Meet New People
Introversion & Social Intelligence
As you can see, being introverted does not necessarily mean that someone is shy, nor does it indicate social awkwardness. On the contrary, many introverts are incredibly outgoing and open to social interactions. They are perfectly capable of interacting with others when the situation calls for it.
You can’t assume whether someone will be outgoing or shy just by knowing whether they’re introverts or extroverts.
Another essential thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t mean that someone is shy because they don’t want to interact with others. Introversion and shyness are not the same.
However, some introverts may indeed struggle with social interactions more than an average person. If you are among them, feel free to read our ultimate guide to overcoming social awkwardness here:
7 Signs You May Be Socially Inept & How to Overcome This
While it is true that introversion and IQ may be correlated to a certain extent, there isn’t a single genetic trait that makes introverts smarter than extroverts. At the end of the day, it all comes down to an individual.
Now, we would like to hear from you:
What is your personal experience with people you know? Are introverts smarter than extroverts?
Please let us know by leaving a comment down below!
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More than 60 percent of Scandinavians with above-average intelligence keep one to three cats at home.Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Do you like cats? Wise!
A group of psychologists and physiologists from the University of Turku (Finland) traced the relationship between attachment to pets and human cognitive abilities (that is, memory, the ability to assimilate information and other mental data). So, more than 60 percent of those whose intelligence was above average (out of 12,000 surveyed Scandinavians) adore cats and keep at home from one to three striped whiskers.
OPINION OF THE SPECIALIST
Anatoly German, family psychotherapist:
- I think the point is that dogs are more often kept by people who are open - extroverts, while cats are kept by closed introverts. It’s not worth saying so seriously that some are smarter than others (the mind is generally a complex and volatile concept), but introverts often have deeper thinking, achieve heights in the exact sciences and are known as intellectuals. In addition, the dog requires time, walks, and smart people busy with the disclosure of Fermat's theorem simply have no time to mess with it. The cat will take a nap on the keyboard with pleasure and will not interfere with high-browed activity. nine0004
Should I go see a horror movie?
Great news for Stephen King fans: you may be smarter than fans of sagas and love stories. Researchers from the University of Toronto found that intellectuals prefer psychological thrillers, suspense and good old horror. Well, not category B, of course, but at the level, they are still intellectuals. According to polls, the favorite stories of Canadian university students with the highest IQ were the film "Dracula" and the series "The Walking Dead" and "Pine Trees". nine0004
OPINION OF A SPECIALIST
Anna Gorenkova, neurologist, doctor of the highest category:
- The release of stress hormones - cortisol and adrenaline - stimulates mental activity, danger and solving puzzles make the mind sharper. And the desire to somehow subtly tickle the nerves is more characteristic of highly intelligent people. For some, this leads to disaster (drugs, high speeds and other "walking on the edge"). But most, fortunately - well, smart people, after all - get their doses of adrenaline in a safe way, for example, from watching chilling stories. nine0004
Still, smoking is bad not only for the lungs, but also for the brain. Israeli doctors examined more than 20 thousand young men aged 18 to 21: smokers had an average IQ of 80-85 points, non-smokers - more than I01-105 points (according to most tests, IQ above average is considered starting from 100 points).
Natalya Gridasova, psychoendocrinologist:
- Many smokers say that cigarettes help to concentrate and “collect brains together”. But in fact, nicotine is insidious: at first it causes excitation of the nervous system, as it were, a mental uplift, but then spasms of the brain vessels begin. And this leads to a decrease in memory, memorization of information, concentration of attention (it is no coincidence that in some countries it is forbidden to smoke while driving). That is, in fact, nicotine makes a person dumber. nine0004
Are lefties lucky?
Psychologists from the USA have found a connection between left-handedness and divergent thinking, that is, a person's ability to find an original solution in a difficult or impasse situation by quickly processing a multitude of options in the brain.
OPINION OF THE SPECIALIST
Anna Gorenkova, neurologist:
- The brain of left-handed people, indeed, is arranged a little differently. They are more likely to encounter deja vu, they are more intuitive, often have a very subtly receptive psyche, they see prophetic dreams. Does it have anything to do with IQ? Probably not, but the originality of thinking in left-handed people is at its best. If you get to a desert island, it is better if your Friday is left-handed. nine0004
Excess fat makes you dumber
University of Marseille research showed that overweight people coped with only 35-40% of word memory tests, while slender women performed excellently in more than 55% of tasks. From which scientists concluded: excess weight is harmful to brain function.
Natalya Gridasova, psychoendocrinologist:
- A couple of extra kilos, of course, does not affect the mind. But serious metabolic disorders have a very bad effect on brain function. With obesity, the accumulation of so-called amyloid proteins begins in the brain, and this is one of the main factors in Alzheimer's disease. It is sad that in many fat people these manifestations begin far from old age. But the condition is reversible: if you lose at least 10% of your original body weight, the risk of amyloid plaques will decrease. nine0004
The Sound of Music
Several studies show that children who are taught music from the age of 4-6 develop speech, reading and memory skills faster.
Olga Zatsepina, pediatrician-speech therapist:
- Susceptibility to music is one of the main factors of human intelligence. But it is not necessary to study it for this, unless there is talent and, most importantly, the desire of the child. If the kid doesn’t want to, don’t force him, doing something he doesn’t like pulls his strength and prevents him from finally revealing his real abilities, say, in mathematics or languages. But to love music, to feel her child must be taught. nine0004
“The youngest was a total fool...”
A study conducted at the University of Madrid states that in families with two or more children, the oldest child most often has the highest abilities.
Anna Gorenkova, neurologist, doctor of the highest category:
- There are no genetic data on the “superiority” of older people over younger ones. But there are several factors that could explain the results of the Spanish study. Older children are more independent, they grow up faster, and if the age difference is more than 5-6 years, then they become like second parents for babies. This teaches you to make decisions and take responsibility, which is very important for brain development. nine0004
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The whole truth about introverts and extroverts
January 16, 2017 Relationship
In 1921, Carl Gustav Jung introduced the concept of psychological types. Since then, people have been wondering who they are - introverts or extroverts, and scientists have been trying to figure out who is smarter. Lifehacker decided to dot the “and” on the issue of introversion and extroversion.
Who are introverts?
An introvert is a person whose energy is directed inward. He is not bored with himself. He is calm and reasonable, attentive to details and careful in decisions.
Introverts sometimes seem gloomy, withdrawn and completely antisocial. But at heart they are sweethearts. It's just that social contacts take energy from them.
There are two or three people in the inner circle of an introvert. Taciturn with strangers, he is ready for hours to discuss interesting topics with those he loves.
Loneliness for an introvert is the absence of involvement in someone's life. He can be lonely even in a crowd. An evening with a favorite book or a contemplative walk is the best way for an introvert to recuperate. nine0004
Who are extroverts?
An extrovert is a person whose energy is directed towards the outer world. He is sociable, open and active. Looks at everything with optimism. He is not afraid to take initiative and be a leader.
Because of their impulsiveness, extroverts sometimes seem like empty shells. But do not confuse emotionality with superficiality.
Extroverts draw energy from communication. Loneliness for an extrovert is when there is not a soul around, there is no one to have a word with. They have many friends and acquaintances. nine0004
Extroverts are fun. In order not to get bogged down in a routine and kindle an inner fire, they will go to a club or invite guests.
What does Carl Gustav Jung have to do with it?
In 1921 Carl Gustav Jung's book Psychological Types was published. In it, he introduced the concepts of extraversion and introversion. Jung considered extroverts and introverts through the prism of the predominant mental function - thinking or feeling, sensation or intuition.
Many scientists have addressed and still address Carl Jung's fundamental work. The extravertive-introvertive typology formed the basis of the Myers-Briggs theory, the Big Five personality model, and Raymond Cattell's 16-factor questionnaire. nine0004
In the 1960s, Jung's ideas were taken up by the British psychologist Hans Eysenck. He interpreted extraversion and introversion through the processes of excitation and inhibition. Introverts are uncomfortable in noisy crowded places, as their brain processes more information per unit of time.
Are introverts smarter?
Many psychologists, sociologists and neuroscientists around the world are trying to find out. So far without success. But the more research is done, the more it becomes clear that the brains of extroverts and introverts work differently.
The demarcation line is dopamine. It is a neurotransmitter produced in the brain and is responsible for the feeling of satisfaction. In the course of a scientific experiment, it was found that extroverts in a state of excitement have strong activity in the tonsils and nucleus accumbens. The former are responsible for the process of emotional stimulation, and the nucleus is part of the dopamine system (pleasure center).
Extroverts and introverts produce dopamine in the same way, but the reward system reacts to it differently. For extroverts, the processing of stimuli takes less time. They are less sensitive to dopamine. To get their "dose of happiness", they need it along with adrenaline. nine0004
Introverts, on the other hand, are too sensitive to dopamine. Their stimuli travel a long and complex path in brain regions. Another neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, plays a major role in their reward system. It helps to reflect, concentrate on the task at hand, work productively for a long time and feel good during the internal dialogue.
How do I know if I am an introvert or an extrovert?
The Gray-Wheelwright tests and the Jungian Type Index (JTI) questionnaire are commonly used to determine Jung type. Psychologists also use the Eysenck personality questionnaire. At the everyday level, you can take a simpler test or analyze your behavior.
|You are an introvert if|| You are an extrovert if || |
Neither suits me. Who am I?
According to Carl Jung, pure introversion and extraversion do not exist. “Such a person would be in a madhouse,” he said. The author of the popular book “Introverts. How to use the features of your character ”Susan Kane.
Every person has traits of an extrovert and an introvert. Signs of one or the other may prevail depending on age, environment and even mood.
People who are in the middle of the introversion-extroversion scale most of the time are called ambiverts (or diverts).
Ambiverts are not ringleaders, but they can enthusiastically participate in what they like. Activity is replaced by passivity and vice versa: the soul of the company can easily become a shy quiet person. In some situations, ambiverts chatter uncontrollably, in others, words have to be dragged out of them with ticks. Sometimes they work well in a team, but some tasks prefer to be solved alone. nine0004
How do introverts and extroverts interact?
The first step towards effective interaction is the respect of individual characteristics.
|If your friend Introvert||If your friend Extrovert|