Healthy Mind

Wondering if You’re More of an Introvert or an Extrovert? Take This Test To Find Out

Photo: Getty Images/Kathrin Ziegler
If you’ve ever told someone that you prefer going out to staying in, they might label you an extrovert without giving it a second thought. Similarly, if you consider yourself more of a homebody than a partygoer, you might land yourself an "introvert" designation. But introversion and extroversion actually operate on a scale, not a binary, so understanding how to characterize yourself (an others) isn't necessarily so clear-cut. So, in order to learn more about the way you operate in the world, you might consider taking a test to determine if you’re more of an introvert versus an extrovert.

Psychology Today's Extroversion Introversion Test, which you can take here, is composed of 81 questions. It claims to take 25 minutes, but I took closer to 40. And according to licensed clinical social worker Darcy Sterling, PhD, who holds her doctorate in quantitative research, it's probably worth the time to take. She says casting a wide net with numerous questions 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.” 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 versus extrovert test may be valuable to folks is that mismatches in these traits can make navigating romantic relationships tricky, adds Dr. Sterling.

After completing the questions, you'll receive your test 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 help determine your status as introvert versus extrovert

1. Sociability

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 in 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 in 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.

3. Self-disclosure

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.

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