Introvert vs. Extrovert Quiz
The Extroversion Introversion Test by Psychology Today, which you can take here, is composed of 81 questions. It claims to take 25 minutes, but it took me almost 40 minutes to complete. According to licensed clinical social worker Darcy Sterling, PhD, who holds her doctorate in quantitative research, it's probably worth your time. Casting a wide net with numerous questions, she says, allows for multiple questions to test the same measure and, in turn, provide for more confident conclusions. The value here is that the findings of the test may help you ascertain whether you're more introverted versus extroverted, which can help you understand yourself better.
“We need to know ourselves to manage our own moods and our own lives so that when we show up for others, we show up as our best selves.” —Darcy Sterling, PhD, licensed clinical social worker
“We need to know ourselves to manage our own moods and our own lives so that when we show up for others, we show up as our best selves,” says Dr. Sterling. For instance, if an introvert puts too many things on their calendar, they might not have all the energy they need to be fully engaged in those activities. Another related reason the results of the introvert-extrovert quiz may be valuable to folks is that mismatches in these traits can make navigating romantic relationships tricky, adds Dr. Sterling.
After completing the quiz, you'll receive results that break down into four scores in different categories: sociability, cognitive orientation, self-disclosure, and a need for space. Read on to find out what each means as well as how they relate to introversion and extroversion.
4 Test Measures To Determine Your Status as Introvert or Extrovert
Per the sample report of the Extroversion Introversion Test, sociability is defined as “the extent to which you are outgoing and enjoy socializing.” As you may already know, a hallmark trait of a classic extrovert is thriving in social situations (i.e., higher sociability), while introverted people may be more apt to enjoy a quiet evening at home or an intimate gathering with just their closest friends (i.e., lower sociability).
2. Cognitive orientation
Essentially, this measure denotes the way that someone processes thoughts, emotions, and life experiences. Introverts tend to use metacognition (thinking about what they’re thinking) more than extroverts, which basically means that the former likes to sort through their emotions before they share them with others. On the other hand, extroverted people tend to gravitate toward working through their thoughts as they’re talking about them.
Self-disclosure has to do with whether you freely express your thoughts and feelings to others or tend to be a more private person. “Best of luck trying to get an introvert to tell you their life story,” says Dr. Darcy. “You have to earn the trust of an introvert.” Someone who skews more extroverted in self-disclosure, though, may be more of an open book. They may very well answer all of your questions—assuming they didn’t already disclose a lot.
4. Need for space
Need for space has to do with the extent to which you’re the type of person who prefers and requires alone time. According to Dr. Sterling, extroverted people are adept at energetically recharging by way of hanging out with others, so they’re likely to not have a huge need for alone time or personal space. Alternatively, “an introvert is, [for the most part], somebody who refuels in the absence of company of others,” says Dr. Sterling.
Knowing where you fall in the four areas of the Extroversion Introversion Test can really be a game-changer in how you understand yourself and, in turn, the way you operate in the world. Once you know how sociable you’re comfortable being, how you process your thoughts and emotions, what you like to share with others, and how much alone time you need, you can start tailoring your self-care practices in alignment with that.
Frequently Asked Questions: Introverts vs. Extroverts
What are the key differences between introverts and extroverts?
“An introvert is a person who is most comfortable being alone and gets the most fulfillment and energy by being alone,” says clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD. In general, introverts tend to spend time thinking about communicating to the point of overthinking and also skew sensitive. They also thrive from structure and enjoy deep conversations.
To that point, introverts can enjoy socializing, but often feel drained or exhausted as a result, says clinical psychologist Thea Gallagher, PsyD. “Having time to themselves is important for introverts.” Extroverts, on the other hand, often feel the opposite. “ get a lot of joy and pleasure from being with people,” Dr. Gallagher says, adding that extroverted people are commonly comfortable engaging in small talk and often feel crowds to be energizing rather than depleting.
“[Extroverts] love stimulation, communicating, talking on the phone and texting, and love social media,” says Dr. Mayer. Extroverts typically have a wide variety of interests, enjoy being the center of attention, thrive when working on group projects, feel at ease around others, and like to share their thoughts and feelings with others, he says.
Can you be both an introvert and an extrovert?
Introversion and extroversion are on a continuum, so while people do typically fall into one category, it's certainly possible to have tendencies from the other side. “No one is really a complete introvert or extrovert,” Dr. Mayer says. “We are some degree along that continuum.” Think of this as a similar situation of being on the cusp of two zodiac signs: While you can, in fact, only have one single sun sign, you may exhibit characteristics common to the neighboring one.
“Introverts need to be more aggressive in finding ways to avoid all the rapid-fire stimulation that the world throws at them.” —John Mayer, PhD, clinical psychologist
And being an introvert or an extrovert generally look different for each person, Dr. Gallagher adds—but that may have to do with society's shifting priorities and communication methods more than anything else because the basis for how you identify has to do with how your brain functions. This, says psychotherapist Mayra Mendez, PhD, hasn't really changed over time. What has is how we use our brains to participate in the changing world. “Society can make these categories look different, and people who are introverted and extroverted act differently than they used to,” says Dr. Mendez.
For example, the advent of social media has made the world “the extrovert’s paradise,” Dr. Mayer says, explaining that the medium's various platforms have allowed for “so many ways to communicate and participate in the world.” Extroverts, Dr. Mendez says, are more likely to be active on social media, share things with the world, and feel comfortable living out loud, Mendez says. “They don’t have to work as hard to connect with other people.”
This landscape of constant connectivity can skew tough for introverts, though. “Today’s world is flooded with noise and over-communication, therefore introverts need to be more aggressive in finding ways to avoid all the rapid-fire stimulation that the world throws at them,” Dr. Mayer says.
What introverts prioritize? What should extroverts prioritize?
If you’re an introvert, it’s crucial that you make sure to schedule alone time, says Dr. Gallagher. “Make it a priority to help you keep a happy and fulfilled life.” Also key for introverts is to set healthy boundaries as a means for saying no when necessary and recharging when they need to. And given that many coping mechanisms involve social situations and other people, it’s also crucial that introverts find creative, healthy strategies, like mantras.
Boundaries should also be top of mind for extroverts—more so in the the scope of respecting those of others, Dr. Mendez says. That doesn’t mean you can’t engage with other people—just don’t be offended if they aren’t as comfortable sharing information as you are. Dr. Mayer agrees. “The most common issue that I have seen clinically is that extroverts often have problems juggling boundary setting between themselves and others,” he says.
The most important thing to remember, though, is that neither personality is preferable to the other. Introverts and extroverts may be different, but in the most complex, nuanced, and personalized way—and it's just part of what makes you, well, you.
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