Discovering the difference between the brains of both types
March 8, 2016
Through a combination of genetics and everyday experiences, one’s personality is formed. A large part of a person’s personality is how they respond to social situations, or if they get their energy alone or from others. These aspects form the terms “introvert” and “extrovert”. Extroversion and introversion are core aspects of one’s personality.
When one obtains their energy by being around and talking with others they are considered extroverted. In contrast to when one’s energy comes from being alone, they are considered introverted. Extroverts express their bold traits of charisma and persuasion, while introverts tend to brew up their creative ways while working alone.
The study of these core personality aspects began in the 1920s with psychologist Carl Jung. Even though there are broad generalizations of each type, it is believed that people fall on more of a spectrum rather than being completely introverted or extroverted.
“There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert,” Jung said, “Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum.”
Although Jung’s thoughts reflect the thoughts of the 1920s, his point still remains true. However, it is not uncommon for one to be an extreme extrovert with introverted qualities. For instance, an extrovert might feel exhausted after a day of socializing and end up spending time alone, recharging himself or herself. This is also true for introverts. They might feel the need to share their thoughts through various outlets in order to let out their social side.
There are many misconceptions about both personality types. For example, introverts are commonly perceived as shy, withdrawn people. When in reality they are not always shy, they only have a tendency to think longer before putting their word out. An extrovert is thought of as one who is overly expressive of their emotions and thoughts. This is due to the fact that they have less of a “filter” than introverts.
These tendencies have a direct correlation to the brain of each type. Randy Buckner, of Harvard University, conducted a study on the prefrontal cortex. The prefrontal cortex is the decision making part of the brain. It was discovered that introverts have a larger thicker grey matter in this region. As compared to extroverts, they had a smaller grey matter in their prefrontal cortex.
Because of this, Buckner concluded that the grey matter is what causes introverts to think things through more thoroughly. They take time to ponder over their decisions rather than engage in fast paced activities. In opposition to this, the lack of grey matter in the brain of extroverts can allow them to respond in a more spontaneous fashion. Causing them to take more risks and be more outspoken.
With the spectrum so broad, there are many ways to find where you fall. There are tests such as the Myers-Briggs test, which will give you a four-letter code for your personality- primarily relating to introversion and extroversion. Also, you could just simply examine your typical actions, to try and determine where you fall on the spectrum. However, it’s important to know where you fall on the spectrum because one’s introversion or extroversion affects their relationships, choices, and everyday life.