Background Noise

• The final major biological difference is the level of background noise that is inside the introvert’s or extrovert’s mind. To put it plainly, introverts have perpetual static and chatter in their mind, which makes them more liable to overwhelm, analysis, rumination, and retreating to solitude. Hans Eysenck proved a corollary of this with his lemon juice test, in which he found that introverts were generally easier to arouse and become alert.

• All of these differences make it seem like introverts are somewhat less predisposed to survival than extroverts. But the opposite is true; zoological studies have found that there are generally two groups in a society, rovers and sitters, and both are needed because they complement each other. Rovers are extroverts—thrill-seekers and out and about. Sitters are introverts—planners, analyzers, and operating in the background. That is to say, introverts keep themselves and the people around them safer than they might be otherwise.

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Peter Hollins is a bestselling author, human psychology researcher, and a dedicated student of the human condition.

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