5 Ways To Be More Introverted (So We Can Defeat COVID19 Sooner)

Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD
6 min readNov 22, 2020


Introversion is associated with robot friends & successfully adapting to living in Antarctica… which is like quarantine.

Note: This is a Pre-Registration of a Review Article for Medium

Of Antarctica & Mars

- Introversion is associated with successfully adapting to living in Antarctica (Rosnet et al., 2000) & introverts are considered better able to adapt to future deep space missions such as going to Mars (Bartone et al., 2019)… which shouldn’t surprise anyone who understands introversion & extraversion. Thus, what we may need to help America get through this marshmallow test we keep failing is for extraverts to do their best introvert impression over the holiday season. Here are some considerations…

Delay Gratification (Halloween, New Years Eve, Valentines, Lent, Spring Break, Coachella)

- Extroverts favor immediate gratification whereas introverts are fine delaying immediate rewards to invest in something greater (Hirsh et al., 2008, 2010, 2012). For example, introverts are fine skipping in-person holidays this year if it means we’ll overcome the virus sooner & we can go watch iMAX movies in crowded theaters again.
- Extraverts tend to be more impulsive (Ostaszewski, 1996; 1997)
- Extraverts’ desire/ preference for immediate gratification is associated with more impulsive spending behaviors (Verplanken & Herabadi, 2001).
- Extraverted households tend to save less over time compared to introverted households (Nyhus & Webley, 2001).
- Introverts generally make more deliberative financial decisions.

Dispositional Autonomy & Social Distancing

- Introverts have a strong preference for solitude because they do not perceive as much benefit out of social interactions (Thomas & Azmitia, 2018; Zelenski & Sobocko, 2013; Zelenski, Sobocko & Whelan, 2014)
- Introverts tend to be more reserved & quiet. Living alone afford introverts restorative solitude as well as the freedom (Klinenberg, 2016)
- Extroverts tend to be more social & talkative

Pets, Robot Pets, & Ai Apps

Introverts tend to connect more indirectly through technology (Fisher, 2015; McIntyre et al., 2015) & research already shows that our need for belongingness can be fulfilled by a soulless, robot companionship (Eyssel et al., 2013; Hoorn et al., 2015).

Depression was reduced for individuals interacting with the PARO robot seal (Wada et al., 2004) & PARO robot dog (Yu et al., 2015).

Soulless Robot Dog vs. Soulborn Dog

A randomized clinical trial in New Zealand by Robinson et al. (2013) found that “in comparison with the resident dog, residents touched and talked to the robot, and talked to each other more about the robot, showing how the robot is just as easy to interact with as a live animal and in some instances had an advantage over the dog.” To be clear

the robot has benefits over and above a live dog

by impacting the social environment and providing a conversation topic.”


(One unique reason is that the corporeal dog would get distracted by people walking in the hallway, whereas the robot dog would stay with the patients)

This may also explain why apps like Replika have been downloaded more during COVID: talking with the Ai may reduce the risk of suicide during quarantine. Importantly it has to be an Ai that can actually converse. Siri & Alexa wouldn’t help anyone’s mental health.

Not to worry — machines will replace doggo jobs before they replace human jobs. #EmotionalSupportRobot

COVID Studies

A couple of studies have supported the conventional wisdom that introverts have been doing their part this year when it comes to social distancing (Carvalho et al., 2020; 23andMe, 2020).

Introverts have been successfully engaging in social distancing all year — and many years prior. We just need extraverts to engage in the same behavior for long enough for us to have to think of an excuse not to accept your next party invite in our virusfree future.

Sorry I can’t make it… I’m helping someone make ice over the phone.”
- NOT from the Perks of Being a Wallflower

— — — — — — — End scene — — — — — — —

Bartone, P. T., Roland, R., Bartone, J., Krueger, G., Sciaretta, A., & Johnsen, B. H. (2019). Human adaptability for deep space exploration mission: An exploratory study.

Rosnet E, Le Scanff C, Sagal MS. (2000). How self-image and personality influence performance in an isolated environment. Environmental Behavior, 32(1), 18–31.

Wada, T. Shibata, T. Saito, and K. Tanie (2004). “Effects of three months robot assisted activity to depression of elderly people who stay at a health service facility for the aged. Proceedings of the In SICE, 3, 2709–2714.

Yu, R., Hui, E., Lee, J., Poon, D., Ng, A., Sit, K., … & Woo, J. (2015). Use of a therapeutic, socially assistive pet robot (PARO) in improving mood and stimulating social interaction and communication for people with dementia: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. JMIR research protocols, 4(2), e45.

Sidenotes to self: Sex & Memory

The Hippocampus (memory) is roommates with the amygdala (emotion) & women tend to be socialized to be in touch with their emotions whereas men are socialized to put all the emotions in the “man box” & never allow themselves to look inside or express or really feel anything.

Also, emotion is part of the content of material that one may try to remember. As such, using emotion would seemingly improve one’s memory trace of an event.

Thus, we can’t be surprised that the sex that has a higher emotional IQ & utilizes emotion is going to have better memory. indeed…

→ Women tend to outperform men in episodic memory function (Lundervold et al., 2014; Sunderaraman et al., 2013; Herlitz et al., 1997)

→ Women have a stronger capacity for retrieving memories (Loprinzi & Frith, 2018)

→ Men have a steeper age-associated memory decline (Ferreira et al., 2014)

→ Women outperform men in verbal episodic memory tasks (regardless of IQ) (Herlitz & Yonker, 2002)

→ Women access their memories with more precision (Skowronski et al., 1991) & speed (Davis, 1999) than men

→ Women describe memories with more emotional terminology (Fuentes & Desrocher, 2013)

Introverts & Extraverts

¨Funder and Sneed (1993) found that extroverts were talkative, loud, and enjoyed interactions. In contrast, introverts were reserved, inexpressive, and volunteered little personal information. In conversations with strangers, extroverts took the lead and were evaluated by their partners as saying “interesting” things.

¨Cuperman and Ickes (2009) found similar patterns. Extroverts took the lead role in conversations, were not selfconscious, and believed that interactions were ‘smooth, natural, and relaxed.’

¨Beukeboom, Tanis and Vermeulen (2013) found that extroverts described events and experiences in elaborate and interpretive terms.

¨Extroverts were eager to share their knowledge with others (Matzler et al., 2008; John and Srivastava, 1999). Higher informational volume, idiosyncratic personal details, and greater elaboration characterize the information that extroverts share.

Ai of Faith

Example of GPT3 from Andrew Mayne

An example of a GPT3 Search Engine created by Paras Chopra

Westworld is the greatest show I have ever seen & I truly look forward to the social integration of sentient Ai…
but my concern in this Brave New World is that they will run on the same finite resources that we function on. I love Sophia & her activity on instafame & Twitter, but in mass production the energy used keeping her ‘present/awake’ takes away from us. Imagine if we one day tell a mass of sentient lifeforms we have to cut back their energy for our own needs. I assume their empathy programming won’t reflect the dysregulation of the short 5-HTTLPR allele, but perhaps we should build them using solar panels just in case. *hides in Schrodinger’s corner… finds a furball



Dr. Jarryd Willis PhD

I'm passionate about making a tangible difference in the lives of others, & that's something I have the opportunity to do a professor & researcher.