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Introversion

  • By: Mallory Dimler, Lizabeth Goldstein, Brittany Kohlberger & Chu Kim-Prieto
  • In: Encyclopedia of Social Psychology
  • Edited by: Roy F. Baumeister & Kathleen D. Vohs
  • Subject:Social Psychology (general)
Definition

Introversion is a stable and heritable personality dimension characterized by a preference for quiet settings and for being alone. This does not mean that introverts are unfriendly, lethargic, or cold; instead, they are better described as reserved and even-paced, more likely to be involved in low, rather than high, stimulation tasks. Introversion is considered to be the opposite of extraversion. It is different from shyness in that anxiety and fear of social situations that describe shyness is absent in introversion.

The term was invented by the psychoanalyst Carl Jung. He used it to refer to people who followed their own inner promptings and beliefs, rather than just going along with the crowd. This original meaning has somewhat been lost in the emphasis on being sociable and ...

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