Introverts and extroverts both perceive and engage in the world in very different ways.

A new study [1] by Daniel C. Feiler and Adam M. Kleinbaum has found that introverts see the world more accurately and understand it much better than extroverts do. The researchers took the well-known friendship paradox, meaning statistically your friends probably have more friends than you do, and they applied this concept to the larger, real-world social dynamics.

In the study, 284 MBA students completed questionnaires featuring questions about their personalities, social lives and views of the world and they found that the friendship paradox was more apparent in extroverts, which would make sense since extroverts may tend to be around more people, many also being extroverts, and, therefore, the cycle continues.

They found that introverts, however, have a better grasp of reality and a stronger understanding of the world because they don’t apply the friendship paradox to other areas of life as they’re less familiar with the concept.

Feiler and Kleinbaum reached this conclusion by studying the interaction of two key factors in the formation of social networks: extraversion, which correlates with popularity, and homophily, the notion that people with similar levels of extraversion are more likely to become friends.[2]

The study supported the hypothesis that network extroversion bias exists, being stronger the further along the extroversion scale you are.

To confirm and make the findings more valid, additional research needs to be carried out in this area, specifically with a larger and wider participant pool, but for now, the results are definitely interesting and open up many questions about the ways in which we perceive the world and other people in it.

In a statement [2], Feiler said: “If you’re more extroverted, you might really have a skewed view of how extroverted other people are in general. If you’re very introverted, you might actually have a pretty accurate idea.

Adopting a realistic view of the world, rather than one skewed by social media and the portrayal of the “perfect life”, we would all be a lot happier.



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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Justin

    As an introvert myself (and an HSP), this is something I’ve thought for a long time. And of course when I brought it up to the extrovert friends, they thought I was out of my mind. Glad to see I was on the right track!

  2. Paul Heitmeyer

    As an introvert, I agree!

  3. Roda

    I’m a loner. Rather be in a quiet bookstore reading or in a room cuddled up in a pile of pillows reading with a coffee or nuts.

  4. Ron

    I don’t understand how to “apply” the friendship paradox. What does that even mean?

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