Introvert And Extravert: 4 Simple Personality Truths



What is an introvert?

If you are asked for a description of an introvert or introverta, you might think of the most sensitive and reserved person you’ve ever met. You might imagine the person who prefers not to be the center of social interactions or the child who likes the quiet of an e-book or with the dog in the family.

What happens is the best option if you’re the type of person who prefers the peace of your home over a noisy event? Perhaps you’re exhausted and exhausted after having a conversation with any other person than a close family member or two. If this is the case, you may be starting to wonder if you’re an introvert.

Personality Explanation

It’s not a quantifiable character trait as such. In reality, it is the term used to describe low levels of extrovertsm (known initially as extraversion, and a person who has extraversion traits was originally referred to by the term “extravert”).

Personality is among the factors in our lives that affect happiness, as Aristotle ( trans . 1984) first mentioned 2300 years ago, and scientific studies from the 21st century prove (Diener and Seligman 2002). Research has revealed a significant effect of extraversion in happiness, concluding that extraverts are happier than introverts (DeNeve and Cooper 1998; Hills & Argyle, 2001; Lucas, 2007; Steel, Schmidt & Shultz 2008).

Though introverts can be happy, it is unclear how they attain happiness (Argyle and Lu 1990). The current study explores an in-depth look at this issue by studying how social interactions and the ability to regulate emotions can positively impact the level of happiness experienced by introverts, especially when it comes to large-scale community-based samples.

Happiness is defined as a lifestyle that includes many positive and a few unpleasant events and the sensation of a high level of life satisfaction (Schimmack and co. 2004).

While studies have shown positive correlations of happiness with life satisfaction and positive and negative emotions, such as coefficients between 0.52 and 0.72 (e.g., Lyubomirsky & Lepper 1999), The correlations aren’t significant enough to warrant the complete overlaying of these notions.

While positive effect might appear essential for happiness and is frequently used in conjunction with happiness in studies, the term “positive affect” may not accurately capture the notion of happiness.

It is not a pledge of happiness and may not be related to most of our happy moments (Diener and Seligman 2002; Lyubomirsky King & Diener, 2005). However, several studies have evaluated positive affect as a measure of happiness.

We often draw from these studies in our current work, but without directly measuring happiness.

Extraversion and joy

The personality traits of five extraversion and neuroticism have been the most influential in happiness. Extraversion has been being linked positively to neuroticism and negatively to joy.

In particular, extraversion is positively associated with various happiness measures, having correlation coefficients of 0.17-0.45 (Argyle, Martin & Lu 1995; DeNeve & Cooper, 1998; Cheng & Furnham, 2003).

Recently, Cheng & Furnham (2014) demonstrated using an extended design and a community sample that extraversion is an essential predictor of happiness after adjusting for factors affecting parents and the subject’s personality traits and intelligence in the child’s development.

This makes extraversion one of the personality traits most closely associated with numerous affective and cognitive measures of satisfaction (Hills and Argyle, 2001; Lucas, 2007; Lucas & Fujita, 2000; Steel, Schmidt & Shultz 2008). Also, it is easier for introverts and extraverts alike to be content. However, happy introverts exist. Hills & Argyle (2001) discovered that of 133 people who said they were content, 33% of them were introverts.

The reasons why extraversion contributes to higher happiness scores are a source of controversy and vary from arguments based on brain structure to statements based on the instrumental connections with social relations (Cremers and colleagues.

(2011); Lischetzke & Eid, 2006 and Oerlemans & Bakker, 2014; Smillie and others. (2012)). Despite the obvious connection with extraversion and happiness, factors that could mediate or influence it are yet to be studied in-depth and simultaneously, particularly in large samples of community-based studies. Two of them are how social connections are constructed and regulate emotion.

Qualitative social connections

The study of instrumental models has found that social interactions partially explain the connection of extraversion to happiness (Hills and Argyle 2001; Argyle & Lu, 1990). Lee, Dean & Jung (2008) found that social connection (perception of a person’s being connected to the world of social interaction) played a role in the relationship with extraversion and subjective happiness.

This is in line with research showing that happy people live substantially more satisfying and complete social lives than those with average happiness or who are extremely unhappy (Diener and Seligman 2002).

Certain studies do not agree with this conclusion and instead state that happiness has only minor correlations with friends’ number and frequency of marital contact status, as well as actual social activities; the Effect size for these correlations range between 0.10 to 0.20 less than the effects for other variables that are often thought of as insignificant, like earnings and overall wellbeing (see Lucas, Dyrenforth & Diener (2008) for a summary).

As a result, in line with the belief that temperament plays a vital role in the relationship between positive and extraversion, Lucas, Le & Dyrenforth (2008) demonstrated through two different studies that after accounting for differences in the levels of social engagement as well as the reactivity to social activities, however, extraverts had a higher rate of positive feelings than introverts.

The existence of relationships with other people and the time that people spend with their social connections may not ensure optimum quality of life because the relationships between people are low rate.

Researchers have suggested that the quality of the relationships could affect the effectiveness of these relationships in determining satisfaction (Lyubomirsky, King & Diener 2005). Hotard et al. (1989) discovered that the strength of social relations was a powerful moderator of subjective wellbeing for introverted people but not extraverted individuals.

In the last few years, Lucas, Le & Dyrenforth (2008 study 2) examined the role of extraversion in the moderator for the connection between social interaction and positive affect. He found an immediate correlation of positive and extrovert affect.

These studies emphasize the importance of studying the social quality as a mediator and a mediator of extraversion’s relationship with happiness.

Ability to regulate emotion

Emotion regulation is the ability to be conscious of effective methods to manage and enhance emotions in certain circumstances. It’s part of the branch of emotion regulation of the Mayer & Salovey (1997) ability model of emotional intelligence.

Many reviews present evidence to support the validity of this type of intelligence in various settings, including professional and personal (Cote 2014; Joseph & Newman, 2010).

Emotion regulation is connected to happiness. People who can effectively manage their emotions have high scores on various satisfaction measures (Cote 2014).

It is not clear if personality influences influence emotional intelligence ability and happiness. Numerous studies did not find any connection between measuring emotional intelligence and happiness indicators after controlling for personality factors (Bastian, Burns & Nettelbeck 2005; Zeidner and Olnick-Shemeshin 2010).

However, cross-sectional studies (Brackett and Mayer 2003; Brackett et al. 2006), as well as future research (Extremera et al. (2011)), discovered that the ability emotional intelligence accounted for 1-4 percent of the variance in happiness indicators after adjusting on Big Five personality dimensions.

The notion that emotional regulation is a critical factor in the impact in happiness of exaggeration was examined in a few studies using self-reported indicators of emotional intelligence and emotional control.

Lischetzke & Eid (2006) found that mood maintenance, however, not mood repair was able to influence the effects of extraversion on pleasant and unpleasant mood as well as pleasant-unpleasant affect.

Some studies suggest that there may be genetic and cultural reasons for emotional control as mediators. Self-reported emotional intelligence could have mediated emotional effects on the happiness of a population sample from the UK (Chamorro-Premuzic, Bennett & Furnham 2007); however, not in a similar model from India (Hafen, Singh & Laursen 2011).

Numerous studies have suggested that regulating emotions could be an intermediary or moderator in relationships between happiness and extraversion. The ability to control emotion has been associated with the quality of relationships with others (Brackett and al. (2006); Lopes, Salovey & Straus, 2003; Lopes et al. (2011); Mayer, Roberts & Barsade (2008) for a summary).

A study revealed that, after adjusting for differences in personality among individuals who had low perceived emotional intelligence (SELI), the amount of social support was correlated with emotional intelligence, resulting in more significant positive effects (Gallagher & Vellabrodrick, 2008).

However, the perception of emotional intelligence and social support didn’t affect the subjective state of mind. One study revealed that teenagers who scored highly on extraversion and higher perceived emotional intelligence scored better in happiness (Salami 2011).

The mediation and moderation hypothesis should be investigated using a test of emotion regulation.

The motivation behind the current study

The literature review above provides evidence of direct connections between happiness on the one hand plus extraversion and social connections and regulation of emotion on the other hand.

Studies have found that social connections or regulating emotion facilitate or reduce the relationship between happiness and extraversion.

However, there is no conclusive evidence that the degree of moderation is significantly dependent on the conditions under which it was tested. Specific studies have found how controlling for the personality variables removes the observed correlations between emotional regulation abilities and happiness.

There are no studies that examine these two variables acting in isolation and together as potential mediators and moderators in the relationship with extraversion and happiness within the large sample of community members.

Therefore, the present study aimed to create and test various models that consider the interpersonal relationships quality and the ability to regulate emotion as moderators and mediator variables that explain or increase the effect of extroverts on joy in the adult population sample.

Emotion regulation abilities were assessed with the Mayer-Salovey Emotional Intelligence test (MSCEIT). This research aims to complete the gaps in the literature on research.

One of these is the need to tackle the research question while avoiding the risk of bias in self-reported assessments of emotional intelligence or regulation commonly used in studies related to this subject.

Self-reported measures don’t specifically assess individuals’ emotional capacities; instead, they measure people’s self-reported opinions regarding their abilities to express emotions.

The self-reported measures of emotional intelligence are strongly correlated with well-established measures of personality and happiness and could therefore have a quantity of unneeded variation (Cote 2014; Brackett et al. 2006; Webb et al. (2013)).

Another issue addressed in this research is whether and what relationships influence happiness. Most relevant studies have focused on the amount or the quality of social interactions.

Another gap is the need to study moderating or mediation in an extensive community sample that includes individuals of different ages. Most relevant studies have focused on smaller undergraduate sample sizes.


Author Affiliation:

1 Department of Psychology, Faculty of Education Science, University Castilla-La Mancha, Ciudad Real, Spain

2 Department of Basic Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain

Corresponding Author:

Pablo Fernandez-Berrocal, [email protected]

Academic Editor:

Ada Zohar

DOI: 10.7717/peerj.1300

Article history:

Received Date: 7/3/2015

Accepted Date: 9/16/2015

Published Date: 10/8/2015

Copyright: © 2015 Cabello and Fernandez-Berrocal

License: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction, and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ), and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.