Introverts v. Extroverts

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As an introvert (I once scored 95 on an introvert scale) I am usually one to watch others. I have been noticing more and more that my extroverted friends are more likely to go out on weekends and usually make conversations easier and with more people. I have always wondered about the difference between my friends and myself, why do we each act the way we do? In the article "Extrovert V. Introvert: Personalities Hardwired by Neurotransmitters in the Brain" it states that extroverts are motivated by dopamine. Extroverts have a higher tolerance to dopamine; therefore they need to engage in more outgoing activities to have stable levels of dopamine. Introverts on the other hand have a lower tolerance to dopamine, not needing as much stimulation as extroverts to have the same amount of the neurotransmitter. For introverts the parties that extroverts seem to love instead create stress. I have definitely noticed that, for me, parties are not much fun. After only about an hour or two I am begging my extroverted friends to leave. They, of course, do not understand my discomfort and I cannot, for the life of me, understand why they can't seem to get enough of going out.  

So, what about you? Are you more of an extrovert or introvert? Do you enjoy parties or hate them? And do you think the differences in personalities are based on neurotransmitters, or is something else?

http://neurologicalillness.suite101.com/article.cfm/extroversion_v_introversion

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I am definitely an extrovert, I like going out, socializing with others, working in groups towards a main goal. There is a kick to it though, I don’t like working with others that are downers or just disagree to disagree. At the end of the introverted section when he says what’s the rush? I want to say, why aren’t you rushing? You could be missing out on other opportunities! Yes, I enjoy parties every now and then but I find it stressful to go out when you have things that need to be done. I think the differences are in the neurotransmitters, everyone’s brain is different, which is why we like different activities, food, etc. However, I also think it has to do with your personality and need for a certain neurotransmitter. Like the article said there are different levels, you could be stuck it the middle, more or less one or the other, or be at an extreme level. I have to agree with the article that I think extroverted people are seen as more natural leaders; however it wouldn’t be impossible for an introverted person to be one. To be a good leader you need all the qualities of both introverts and extroverts. Loyalty, outgoing, openness, determination, caring, precision, etc, the list could go on forever. This inspired me to do research on things that make a good leader, and all sites were different but some of the main ones were, persuasiveness, knowledge, responsibility, communication skills, and motivation. I think persuasiveness and motivating others would more likely be an extrovert trait however they mainly could be either extrovert or introvert.
Here’s the website:
http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=349

I wouldn't classify myself as either an introvert or extrovert. I don't think most people fall specifically into either category. Whether we feel like 'going out' is probably largely context-dependent. Dopamine sensitivity likely plays a part. From a evolutionary perspective, its likely that people who lacked a reward system for fulfilling the social need of affiliation were outcasts who likely did not live long, or reproduce for that matter. People who are depressed often don't feel like being around people and are likely concurrently experiencing low levels of dopamine. Of course, even introverts require dopamine to be happy, just less than extroverts. However, I think that environmental circumstances can influence this dopamine tolerance. When we experience something incredibly gratifying (got the job we wanted, just got married, win the lottery(we wish)) we all get a nice surge of dopamine from these things.

What do most of us do (even a lot of introverts) when we experience these things? We celebrate with other people. This tendency might be socially influenced, as it is likely that these situations have been observed in the past. Whether it be family, friends, movies, television, we have all certainly witnessed or experienced situations that 'require' if not supplant the idea of social involvement. Not to mention, the emotional positivity that results from a dopamine boost will make anyone more endearing and approachable and thus setting the stage for successful social interaction. This success (unexpected) might cue more dopamine and can lead to a rewarding if not reinforcing situation(increasing the likelihood of future social interaction). I'm not suggesting that someone who is a stark introvert will want to be in a room with 30 people, but it is likely they will be at the high end of their comfort level during these situations.

On the flip side, people who experience a negative event (job loss) might be more likely to isolate compared with a positive event. Aside from being in a crappy mood (cortisol release possibly), this crappy mood might actually reduce the approachability of the person in the bad mood, which obviously would decrease social affiliation. This doesn't mean that an extrovert will be completely alone as a result of some negative event. They might seek out some social support because it is reinforcing for them (dopamine). A negative situation can also be associated with other dopamine seeking behaviors-specifically drugs and alcohol come to mind as well as food for some people. Oxytocin could also be implicated in periods of stress (family illness or death, job loss might apply), which could also lead to more social support seeking behavior.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWenntryMhI&feature=related
^Related to the previous comment^

I would have to say that I am more introverted than extroverted. I like to hang out with a few close friends. I would choose those close friends over a huge party any day. I am a pretty talkative person once I get to know someone. When I first meet someone I am very reserved and do not talk that much at all. I also hate to speak in front of people, for whatever reason I just get so nervous. My friends who have heard me give speeches have said how good of public speaker I am; however the whole time I am talking I am just waiting for my agony to be over.

I think neurotransmitters play a huge part in whether you are extroverted or introverted. I found this article that helps to give further information that extroversion or introversion is genetic. http://en.allexperts.com/e/i/in/introversion_and_extroversion.htm. It goes into some detail about twin studies that have been done that help prove that extroversion/introversion are genetically base. However, in this article it talks about how extroverted people are happier, which I do not believe is the case at all. I think that as an introverted person that I could be just as happy as an extroverted person but just in a different setting. I also think though however that some of these behaviors could come from the environment that the person is in as mentioned above. I too also think that the level of extroversion or introversion can be dependent on what type a mood a person is in.

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