According to Carl Jung, no one is a “pure” extrovert or introvert. Everyone falls somewhere in those categories at different situations or points in their lives. To support this notion, writer and researcher Jenn Granneman studied extroverts and introverts in social situations (like a party) and how they view and experience such situation. Here is what she found:
1. It’s All in the Dopamine Levels
Every person is wired differently and introverts and extroverts have significantly different dopamine levels. It has been found through research that individuals, both self-classified as extrovert or introvert, experience higher levels of fatigue after socializing. But, extroverts are found to have a more active dopamine reward system than their counterpart. Extroverts get more active and energized by socializing than introverts.
Introverts, on the other hand, tend to get to the level of overstimulation in the same activity. They ultimately find socializing to be tiring and punishing, leading them to feel drained in the process. With this, introverts expend less energy on high-volume, high-energy activities and focus more on enjoying a party at a quieter, more distant sense.
2. The Focus on Different Rewards
In the same study, it was found that introverts and extroverts do enjoy socialization, but find different rewards in the same activity. Extroverts find the possibility of meeting new people and striking up a conversation with strangers a pleasurable experience when socializing. They also report that this perceived outcome when they socialize increases their levels of excitement. This increases the chances of them looking forward to similar situations in the future.
Introverts focus more on more low-key activities in the same situation, like conversing with lesser and more familiar people instead. This interaction is deemed more valuable and provokes the motivation to attend social events. Introverts focus on the meaning and depth of their interactions, rather than chase the excitement that extroverts find in socializing.
These findings do not mean that extroverts are shallow in their interactions or that introverts would rather hole up than be with people. Just as Jung said, no one is purely an extrovert or an introvert. Interested to know which spectrum you fall under? Call York Regional Psychological Services at (416) 602-3230 to book an appointment for a professional personality test!