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Ace of Spades
7w6 4w3 1w9 sp/so; Ni/Ne/Te-dom
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According to Wikipedia (Extraversion and Introversion), "Most people (about 68% of the population) are considered to be ambiverts, while extraverts and introverts represent the extremes on the scale, with about 16% representation for each." (Bartol & Bartol (2008). "Criminal Behavior: A Psychosocial Approach". Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: (8th Edition)).

This seems to be consistent with my observation of people in general. There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the distinction between the two is to begin with.

According to the Big Five personality theory, Extroversion can be broken down into: gregariousness, assertiveness, excitement seeking, warmth, activity and positive emotions (Matthews, G., Deary, I. J., & Whiteman, M. C. (2003). Personality Traits. Cambridge University Press. Page 24.). Jung or MBTI have different definitions as well.

Some common misconceptions I've seen as well are:

  1. "Introverts are shy". This is not necessarily true. They might just find it draining to talk to strangers, for example.
  2. "Extroverts can't be shy". Again, shyness does not depend on orientation. Anyone can be shy to an extent, and an extrovert can have social anxiety.
  3. "Extroverts are loud, introverts are quiet". This can be true, but not necessarily.
  4. "Introverts hate parties". Again, this can be true, but they can also really enjoy them if they are with good friends, for example.
  5. "Extroverts don't like time alone". Most people enjoy at least some time alone.
So how do you decide E vs I on MBTI?

Given what I've said above, chances are you are an ambivert, and deciding your MBTI type could be trickier than expected. This is where Jung's theory of cognitive functions comes into play! Even if you score mostly Introvert, consider your dominant function. If you consistently score INTP, but you consider yourself more Ne than Ti, consider changing your type to ENTP. The general rule is:

Ixxx:
I function 1 > E function 1 > I function 2 > E function 2
Exxx: (same x's)
E function 1 > I function 1 > E function 2 > I function 2

So unless you are entirely E or I, or you have a disorder that skews your functions greatly, go with whichever function is dominant as your choice between E and I.

Personal Example

I am very much an INTJ. However, I appear quite extroverted in front of people. I'm talkative, enthusiastic, assertive, and energetic. On Big 5/SLOAN I type as a mild S (vs R) and on MBTI I'm about 55% Introvert. However, I have a heavy preference toward spending time alone over time with others. I'm very reflective, much more relaxed, and never get bored alone.

Most importantly, I'm dominantly iNtuitive, in particular Ni, and my Te is weaker. My Ne is very strong, so I appear like an ENTP sometimes, but I'm definitely not a P. Hence, the best type for me is INTJ.

Happy typing!
 

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Cool analysis. Ambivert haha, first time I've heard of that! I liked the list of misconceptions and they are pretty much true. I used to be shy, still kind of am I guess at times, but I know there is a big difference between shyness and introvertedness. I think introversion is a "drained feeling" and shyness is more so wanting to talk, but worrying about what you say before you say it.
 

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I always thought extroversion worked kind of like a scale - a 0-100 type affair. A lot of people would be somewhere around the middle, but they will almost always have a slight preference one way.
 

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I have never been sold on the whole ambivert thing. I feel at the core you will be someone that generally enjoys the company of most people anytime and/or anywhere, or you will be one of those that likes people in smaller intervals and wouldn't be restless if you're alone a lot. There are other elements to describe introverts and extraverts, but for me if I had to put them in somewhat of a nutshell, it would be something like that.

As you pointed out, there are such things as shy extraverts or introverts that don't mind parties, and so on. Speaking personally: I'm an introvert and I genuinely miss people (particularly the ones closer to my own age) because due to some circumstances, I can't really get out that way I want to. Does this make me an E because I miss people and wish to get out? NO I still like my alone time, I'm just getting more of it than want I want right now. No matter how introverted, we all need people sometimes and no matter how extraverted, we all need some alone time.

It's been a while since I've looked into these personality assessments and I don't really understand much about dominant functions, so that will be something I'll look into in the meantime.
 

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I always thought extroversion worked kind of like a scale - a 0-100 type affair. A lot of people would be somewhere around the middle, but they will almost always have a slight preference one way.
That's exactly what I was thinking when I read the original post. Of course someone isn't going to be completely one way or the other, but like you said, most people lean one way or the other.
 

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I reckon it gets more blatant if you do something over a long period of time. See how someone changes when put in a situation where they are just surrounded by people, some friends but majority just random. And have that for like literally a day. Morning till night. You'lee see the people which will appear to gain more energy as the day progresses and then the people who eventually might sit around with one or two mates and sit down like a bunch of stoners, just sitting there not doing much in particular.

Get a handful of people who all know each other and then later on, enlarge it by adding an additional 5 strangers. I think the introvert is the person who at first, as a rule, considers everyone a dick apon meeting them and probably had them set up to slightly below 'stranger' level if your going to use the 'friendship graph'. "who are those dickhead strangers"
I personally will show a slight amount of hostility towards strangers forced to be around me. Its not like i go up to them and say something in a grunty voice "what..cunt" And i'll be all serious and shit.
I would say that most introverts are 'shy'. Not the "i talk really quietly when talking to new people or just in general" but the "why would i talk them them?, if i want to talk i'll do so when i have good reason".
 
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