extroversion and introversion

views updated May 21 2018

extroversion and introversion A polarity in descriptions of personality, which has a long history, although the terms themselves only became popular in the nineteenth century. Extroversion (literally turning outwards) is typified by outgoing, sociable, impulsive behaviour; introversion (turning inwards) by reflective, withdrawn, responsible behaviour. The psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung linked extroversion with hysterical tendencies, introversion with depression and anxiety, the contrast underpinning his differentiation of personality types. Hans J. Eysenck, employing psychometric techniques and factor analysis, identified two major dimensions of personality and labelled the poles of one dimension extroversion and introversion. Individuals are located at points along the dimensions, the two axes enabling the full mapping of personality differences, and identification of personality types.