Extroversion (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A term used to characterize people who are typically outgoing, friendly, and open toward others.
Extroverts are people who are often leaders, work well in groups, and prefer being with others to being alone. Other personality traits often associated with extroversion include optimism, risk taking, and love of excitement and change. People who are extroverts prefer having company and tend to have many friends.
Extroversion is generally defined in comparison to its opposite, introversion, which is used to describe people who are quieter, more reserved and sensitive, and more comfortable in solitary pursuits. The two tendencies can be regarded as opposite ends of a continuum, with most people falling somewhere in between. Nevertheless, many people have traits that clearly place them closer to one end than to the other. Both extroversion and introversion in some people are thought to be the result of inborn tendenciesalled temperamenthat are shaped by environmental factors. The psychologist Hans Eysenck has suggested that the temperamental foundation involves the ease with which the cerebral cortex becomes aroused. Eysenck notes that in introverts some parts of the brain are very sensitive to arousal and are easily over-stimulated, causing them to prefer quiet surroundings and calm situations. The...
(The entire section is 360 words.)
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