Introvert vs. Extrovert- A personality choice or A Scientific Fact?

Tahiya

In a group of four or five people, there is always a person or two who remain quiet and observe the talkative ones. They are the kind who are called the introverts. On easy terms, an introvert is a person who is shy and likes to be by him/herself most of the times. On the other hand, an outgoing and overtly expressive person is known to be extrovert. It is often thought that being an introvert or an extrovert depends on the person’s choice but it does have some scientific aspects as well.

Studies have showed that there are differencesbetween the brain of an introvert and an extrovert person. These two types of brains respond differently in similar type of stimulations. It has been stated by the researchers that an extrovert brain needs more stimulation for any kind of response than an introvert brain. The extroverts have lower level of “arousal”. On the other hand, an introvert brain is easily over stimulated. This is why, extroverts need risks, adventures, crowd and challenges to control their arousal levels and the opposite happens with the introverts. They need more calm, quiet and secluded situations to lower their arousal level.

It has also been suggested that the sensitivity of neurotransmitters- dopamine and acetylcholine in brain; play an important role in determining a person’s extrovert and introvert nature. Dopamine is a chemical messenger that deals with the activation of pleasure in a person. When dopamine floods the brain, both the introverts and extroverts become more talkative, outgoing and motivated to take challenges in risks in their lives. But the major difference is- an introvert brain requires less amount of dopamine to focus or to attain pleasure than an extrovert brain. This is why, an introvert usually feels more comfortable and peaceful in calmer places or even in a library or in their rooms, spending time all alone. This does not make an introvert person socially awkward or lonely or sad, rather it makes those people have deep thoughts about their lives and situations around them.

An introvert person has friends, crowds, gathering, places to go and has fun just as an extrovert person but they do not require to be within those all the time. An extrovert person has lesser sensitivity towards dopamine and that makes him/her attracted to the high levels of energetic approaches and places. They gain pleasure or enjoyment by being with other people, socializing with new crowds, taking adventures or challenges. This does not make them shallow in comparison to the introverts. They also possess the capability of understanding the meaning of their lives and their surroundings but the ways are different.

Acetylcholine deals with the feeling of pleasure as well. But it makes us feel good when we turn inward. It makes us think deeply and focus on a particular thing for a long time. Acetylcholine makes it easier for an introvert to refrain from external stimulation.When a person is in his/her own comfort zone, enjoying his/her solitude, then he/she enjoys the pleasure of acetylcholine at its best. It does not happen with the extroverts. They need crowded and high energetic environment for the proper utilization of their pleasure waves.

There is a concept about introverts that they really dislike being around other people and dislike other people as a whole. This concept is entirely false. They like partying, having fun, going on adventures etc. as much as the extroverts do but they like their own spaces the most. They like observing a conversation rather than being the conversation initiator. They like being a part of the group but not the center of attention. They like going to crowded places and being by themselves there.

Just like the previous concept, it is also believed that the extroverts cannot spend a single time alone. This is also entirely false. They like gaining pleasure or sadness from practical experiences rather than gaining these feelings from a book or from watching or hearing other people’s experiences. This is why, a group is generally, always combined of people of extrovert and introvert natures. Science is behind every single thing on this planet and a person’s introvert and extrovert behavior is not excluded of it.

Tahiya Islam completed her graduation under Department of Pharmacy, East West University. She is a student correspondent at Association of Life Science and Engineering Writers (ALSEW). Tahiya can be reached at tahiya945@gmail.com

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