5 Ways to Be More Introverted (An Ongoing Series)

In the science journalist Winifred Gallagher’s words: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Neither E=mc2 nor ‘Paradise Lost’ was dashed off by a party animal.” (in Learnosity piece by Adelina Sarkisyan)

A “Golden Age For Introverts” (Brooks & Moser, 2020)

Extraverts have felt more deprived during COVID lockdown than introverts (Anglim & Horwood, 2020). This is corroborated by several COVID19 studies revealing that higher extraversion is associated with lower engagement in social distancing practices & less adherence to CDC/WHO health recommendations during the pandemic.

In contrast, introverts typically have fewer social interactions than extraverts (Lucas et al., 2008), and therefore physical or social distancing measures during the pandemic may have produced relatively small shifts in their regular social behavior” (Liu et al., 2021).

A review of health research over time reveals that “…historically, extraverted individuals were less likely to survive pathogen threats because their proclivity for social contact heightened their risk of contracting and transmitting contagious diseases” (Peters et al., 2020).

In short, the pattern of results for introverts & extraverts reflects the unique challenge extraverts have faced in 2020, particularly as it relates to reducing their proximal social interactions with others.

Here are some of the findings associated with introversion & extraversion that are related to COVID:

A. Social distancing requirements have a smaller impact on introverts’ lives than extraverts’ lives (Folk et al. 2020).

B. Extraversion is associated with less adherence to COVID social distancing behaviors (Carvalho et al., 2020; 23AndMe — Coker et al., 2020).

C. Extraversion is related to greater health concerns during the pandemic as extraverts may have felt more burdened and lonelier than usual, decreasing the overall association between extraversion and psychological well-being (Aschwanden et al. 2020; Buecker et al. 2020; Gubler et al., 2020).

D. Introversion is associated with higher germ aversion (and people aversion)(Duncan et al., 2009), whereas extraversion is associated with a larger network of interaction partners & more interpersonal mobility.

E. Regional levels of Extraversion were related to earlier onsets, steeper initial growth rates and a higher case rate on September 30, 2020 both in the US and Germany, suggesting that regional Extraversion acted as a risk factor throughout the pandemic (Peters et al., 2020).

F. Extraversion predicted less adherence to recommendations related to social gatherings (Götz et al., 2020).

G. Previous research has found that extraversion is generally associated with more risky health behaviors (Raynor & Levine, 2009; Strickhouser et al., 2017).

H. ‘Physical pain is an aversive signal that evolved to motivate us to take action that minimizes damage to our physical body, loneliness is an aversive state that motivates us to take action that minimizes damage to our social body
(Cacioppo et al., 2009).

The quality of social connections predicts loneliness more sharply over time than the quantity (Cacioppo et al., 2000; Wheeler et al., 1983).

I. ndividualism (vs Collectivism) → Leder et al. (2020) found that individualism was associated with people mostly only following guidelines that protected themselves rather than the general public.

J. Extraversion predicts less compliance (Brouard et al., 2020); Conscientiousness predicted more compliance (Abdelrahman, 2020; Bogg & Milad, 2020).

K. “Extraversion’s central facet is sociability (McCrae & Costa, 2010; Soto & John, 2017), which manifests itself in heightened mobility (Ai, Liu, & Zhao, 2019) and larger social networks (Asendorpf & Wilpers, 1998; Pollet, Roberts, & Dunbar, 2011). Because more stringent government policies are more likely to deny extraverted people the behavioral freedom that matters so highly to them, extraverted individuals may be less likely to comply with policy interventions” (Götz et al., 2020).

Lol. An article from the future (2021) found that extraverts found the safety measures too restrictive & had more negative appraisals of the crisis (Modersitzki et al, 2021).

M. Extraversion is negatively associated with self-reported current health behaviors (i.e., social distancing, hygiene), whereas Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Neuroticism predicted greater adherence (Blagov, 2020).

N. Several studies found that introversion predicted higher adherence to social distancing (Carvalho et al., 2020; Clark et al., 2020; Coker & 23AndMe et al., 2020; Liu et al., 2020; Robillard et al., 2020).

Ohhhh. Clark et al. (2020) has the most ironic finding in that extraversion predicted giving health advice to others while being less likely than introverts to actually take health precautions themselves. Indeed, the frequency of “speaking up” to give health advice to others is quite literally the opposite of healthy behavior given that aerosol emissions increase with the number of words spoken & loudness of voice.

P. 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).

Q. Extroverts favor immediate gratification whereas introverts are fine delaying immediate rewards to invest in something greater (Hirsh et al., 2008, 2010, 2012).

R. ide Sharing

Extroverted people were more inclined to share a smaller vehicle with strangers, whilst more introverted people preferred larger vehicles (Wells & Wadud, 2019).

¨The strongest predictor of ride-hailing adoption is an extravert personality as it is related to more willingness to engage in the sharing economy (Roy, 16).”

Extroverted people were more likely to be happy sharing a smaller vehicle with strangers, whilst more introverted people preferred larger vehicles (Wells & Wadud, 2019). In addition, women reported being were more cautious of smaller shared vehicles than men.

Higher proportions of extraverts are prepared to pay more for a shared AV (Ai Automated Vehicle) Car than introverts (Clayton et al., 2020).

S. trong Situations & Weak Situations

Weak Situation = mancave, shehen, yellow light
Strong Situation = funeral, elevators, red light

According to Casale and Flett (2020), World War 2 was the last time humanity experienced such a historically strong situation. Indeed, the continent-wide shutdowns that took place in early 2020 were the largest public health ordinances in recorded history. (Which, is 100% constitutional — “even when they preclude people from assembling for religious worship”)

As such, we were all in the same storm, but not the same boat.

Extraverted Boats: Quarantine may be perceived as a strong situation for extraverts insofar as social distancing (among other things) significantly affects their regular social patterns. As such, it may uniquely attenuate the expression of personality for extraverts.

Introverted Boats: For introverts, however, not much has necessarily been lost due to the public health ordinances & quarantine. Thus, introverts may perceive less of a ‘strong situation’ than extraverts.

T. Talkative = extraverts

U. Dispositional Autonomy

Introverts have a strong preference for solitude because they do not perceive as much benefit out of social interactions (Lucas et al., 2008; Thomas & Azmitia, 2018; Zelenski & Sobocko, 2013; Zelenski, Sobocko & Whelan, 2014). Living alone afford introverts restorative solitude & freedom (Klinenberg, 2016).

V. iral Risk

Introversion may be protective against contagious infections insofar as “introverts may demonstrate incidental compliance with social distancing by nature of their personality. For example, Smith et al. (1990) found that introverts were less likely than extraverts to have colds and more likely to have sub-clinical infections. Epidemiological modeling research by Platini and Zia (2010) suggests that introverts are likely to prevent the excessive accumulation of social interactants, and would begin to “cut links” upon reaching their preferred stationary state. In contrast, extraverts would seek to increase their social network as their preferred social state is exponentially higher than that of introverted individuals” (Willis et al., Revise-and-Resubmit).

W. Writative = introverts

X. 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.

Y. Jacques-Hamilton et al. (2019) asked extraverts and introverts to spend a week engaging in higher levels of extravert-typical behaviour (being talkative, sociable, etc), and a control group asked to just carry on as they otherwise would. Extraverts reaped several benefits including enhanced mood and feelings of authenticity, whereas introverts experienced no benefits, reported feeling tired and irritable, and may have even suffered some well-being costs.

Z. oom Camera Conformity

Among non-conforming students, introverts are more likely to have their Zoom cameras off, & extraverts to have their cameras on or off, regardless of what other students are doing, χ2 (4, N = 294)= 11.91 , p = .018.

Graph Here

Figure 1. Wellness & Mental Health

Figure 2: Zoom Camera Conformity

Multiple Regression Exists & No One Said It Was Only One Thing

We live in a world where multiple regression exists. That means that there’s always going to be more than just 1 predictor, reason, explanation, etc that contributes to a finding.

This NeoLiberal desire to accrue social currency by saying something is wholly disproven in science is poisonous. Nuanced observations & narrow interpretations of covariates & complex results don’t pay as much in the social media currency of retweets/likes, but it’s the necessary work of reputable scholarship.

Catfran: We have a replication crisis!!!! In 1960 most Americans were opposed to interracial marriage but we failed to replicate that in 2019!!!!

GamerGirl: People aren’t static, unchanging entities. It doesn’t mean the theory, findings, etc were incorrect or false at that time. It just means the theory is no longer correct today during our time.
That’s not a crisis of replication. That, in and of itself, is not a crisis at all.

Catfran: So you’re saying that people aren’t static robots & that just because the bystander effect & opposition to interracial marriage aren’t replicating the same way today doesn’t mean they were never real?

GamerGirl: I’d also add that robots aren’t necessarily static. Indeed, Google, your Chatbot Apps, Gmail’s email prediction (where it guesses which email you’re going to type next based on past linkages), etc. indicate that modern Ai & machine learning technology are processes that change over time based on user input.

Unlike robots, however, we can become cognitively fatigued. So yes, ego depletion (or, perhaps a less controversial term, mental fatigue) exists in the world.

But by far the more important reason for the readjustment of the past is the need to safeguard the infallibility of [one’s Twitter brand/ ideology].
- George Orwell, (Book: 1984)

Jacobson vs. Massachusetts (1905 — Quarantine)

“In that case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a state law requiring compulsory vaccinations against smallpox. The court declared, “Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.”

The court explicitly rejected the claim that “liberty” under the Constitution includes the right of individuals to make decisions about their own health in instances where those decisions could endanger others.

The right to swing your fist stops at another person’s nose. With coronavirus, your freedom stops when it endangers others by facilitating transmission of a highly communicable disease.” (Erwin Chemerinsky, LA Times, April 20, 2020)

Implicit Bias & Microaggressions

CatFran: Can you explain implicit bias again?

GamerGirl: Sure thing — one way to think about it is that our brain acts like Google’s autofill sometimes, and we have to delete what it erroneously thinks we’re about to type.

Or rather, we have to modify something we’re on the verge of saying out loud & revise the cognitions that we’re using to assess someone unfairly relative to others.

Your Skin is Too Dark For Us

(GamerGirl Citations)

Regina George: You’re too dark for this pool

GamerGirl: Whaaaaaa???? We’re the same race. I’m not a minority.

Karen: Yes but our beauty as women is closely connected to overall social capital. Here in Hingashi we have a Beauty Queue (Hunter, 2005) in which women’s skin tone affects their social rank-ordering. The lightest women have the most privilege.

GamerGirl: But why?

Gretchen: Because colorism is a facet of structural racism, permeating many institutions due to the media-saturation of Anglicization & the multibillion dollar skin bleaching industry.

As such, it’s internalization by high school means it doesn’t require the presence of overtly racist individuals (see Charles, 2003; Glenn, 2008; Hunter, 2011; Mire, 2001).

America’s Tripartite Racial (or Tri-Racial) Hierarchy

1 — Top = Whites & multiracials (relative to skin tone) on top,

2 — Middle = lighter skinned East Asians, Indians, Persians, Hispanics, and half-White multiracials in the middle (some interminority multiracials relative to skin tone)

3 — Bottom = Blacks, some darker skin tone East Asian, Indian, Persian, interminority multiracials, & Hispanic groups at the bottom

(Bonilla-Silva, 2004; Gans 1999; Lee & Bean, 2007; Robnett & Feliciano, 2011; Mykel Rodriguez et al., in review).

Race as a social construct is an ontological argument that many hardly have the time to concern themselves with given the deontological reality of race in their everyday life (Bonilla-Silva 1999; Song 2018; Telles & Paschel 2014; Torngren et al., 2019).

— — -

“Gay males aren’t limited via female coyness/choosiness on how much sex & how many sexual partners they can have. Thus gay men have more sex partners than anyone.”

— — -

Asians face higher risk from environmental health hazards than Whites (Clark et al., 2014; Cushing et al., 2015; Downey et al., 2008; Houston et al., 2014; Lievanos, 2015; McKelvey et al., 2007; Morello-Frosch and Jesdale, 2006; Payne-Sturges and Gee, 2006).

Over 40% of the Japanese population and 30% of the Filipino population in the US lived in counties that exceed PM2.5 air quality standards; when aggregated together, they found that 20% of the US Asian population lived in exceedance counties (Gordon et al., 2010).

Cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian Americans (CDC, 2010; Chen, 2005), yet physicians recommend preventative cancer screenings to Asian patients at a lower rate than other groups, in part because of the model minority stereotype (Ibaraki et al., 2014).

— — -

Interminority MultiRacials Marriages Prior to #Loving v Virginia (1967)

Interminority #interracial marriage was legal everywhere in America except NC & LA.

Thus, the majority of #multiracial people prior to Loving v Virginia were interminority multiracials.

The Loving ruling gave Americans who are White the right to marry Americans who aren’t White.

For Americans who are Asian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Middle Eastern, Mixed, Native American — those Americans gained an additional marriage option to marry someone White.

MultiRacials exhibit greater appreciation and empathy for cultural diversity (Shih & Sanchez, 2009).

Cultural Museumology

- Immigrants retain preferred traditions/values from countries of origin (enculturation) & embrace preferred components of their new residence (acculturation) (Doane et al., 2017; Gonzales et al., 2012).

— — -

Like whites, Asians and Latinos are highly exclusive of blacks.

— — -

The relatively high income enjoyed by Middle Eastern, East Indian and Asian men do not correspond to increased acceptance in the domain of intimacy.

Dong, DiScenna, and Guerra (2019) looked at sharing in the context of an AV bus, and similarly to Krueger, Rashidi, and Rose (2016), found that younger people were more willing to use this mode. Importantly, Dong, DiScenna, and Guerra’s (2019) study also identified the importance of an authority figure in the vehicle, finding that two thirds of people were willing to use it when there was a conductor on board, but this dropped dramatically to just 13% of people when there was no ‘official’ presence in the shared vehicle. This demonstrates that the social setting and perceptions of personal safety and comfort in the shared AV context are likely to be highly important in people’s willingness to use these modes in the future, particularly as they are first rolled out.

Dong et al.’s study also found an influence of gender in perceptions of the AV bus, with men more likely to report being willing to use it than women. This has been supported by Wells and Wadud (2019), who found that women were more cautious of smaller shared vehicles than men. Wells and Wadud’s research went further in identifying some psycho-social characteristics of people’s sharing preferences. Extroverted people were more likely to be happy sharing a smaller vehicle with strangers, whilst more introverted people preferred larger vehicles.

Introversion & Extraversion, like all high frequency traits, continue to thrive because they’ve helped our species survive in certain environmental ecologies & when they differentially fit the taxonomy of present challenges.

A pandemic is definitely a situation that favors introversion.

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.