Are there More Introverts or Extroverts and Why?


June Jung, Reporter

If you’re like me and you’ve had someone tell you there are more extroverts than introverts, then everyone you meet is most likely an introvert. People tend to confuse introversion with being shy and extrusion to being outgoing and popular, but what it really means is when people; Extroverts find social interaction emotionally nourishing and “recharging,” while introverts find it better to “recharge” at home rather than hanging out with friends or going to parties.

If you’re like me and still likes to go home to chill to ‘recharge’, then yeah, you would be an introvert. But why are some people born to shy away from the world, and others to embrace it? Humans are social animals and if locked away in a room with no socialization for three days can go mentally crazy. So why do some people prefer a book to a human? Well, research has shown that introverts and extroverts are born, not made. Still, let’s go deeper, what makes them this way? One theory of the brain science behind introversion and extroversion suggests that it’s all because of dopamine.

In 2005, researchers at the University of Amsterdam studied groups of volunteers who were classified as introverts and extroverts from a personality test. The volunteers gambled while the researchers watched the activity in two regions of their brains, which are both tied to excitement and reward. The amygdala handles emotional reactions, while the nucleus accumbens control how we process dopamine: a chemical that we use to process rewards and positive reactions. The researchers found that the people identified as extroverts had stronger reactions in those two regions while gambling, so that extroverts may actually have brain wiring that rewards seeking out activities like meeting new people, trying new things, and other social or outgoing behaviors. So, introverted brains may not reward such behaviors, which is why introverts might find staying home with a book more rewarding than going out to a party.

That’s pretty cool an a very intriguing topic to learn about. Still, let’s go deeper. Are there more extroverts or introverts?

According to Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalys, there’s no answer! Apparently, there is a whole spectrum between being an introvert and an extrovert. If you’re in that spectrum, you are called an ambivert. Ambiverts can lean toward being an introvert or extrovert. So, everyone learns more on one side than the other. What if you’re an absolute introvert? you ask. No-one is or ever will be a total extrovert or an introvert. According to him: “Anyone who is truly 100 percent extraverted or 100 percent introverted is a lunatic.”

So no-one is a total extrovert or introvert, sometimes you can feel totally introverted but remember you’re still you, so maybe put yourself out there next time. After all, everyone needs a little socialization. Remember what I said about being locked up for three days? Don’t ever let that happen to you. Remember that next time you go to a party, try to meet some new people, maybe even another introvert.