©Arlene R. Taylor PhD Realizations Inc
The terms Extraversion, Ambiversion, and Introversion refer to a brain’s innate set-point for alertness and for how much stimulation in the environment is optimum. Think of your set-point as the typical, innate, stable level at which your brain and body function optimally. Located in the first brain layer, the RAS (Reticular Activating System) located in the 1st brain layer is believed to create this set-point (referred to by some authors as one’s arousal level).
C. G. Jung taught that a person’s Extraversion-Introversion ratio is more primary than even their brain lead. Corollaries include:
- Extraverts, whose need for stimulation causes them to seek out competition, and who see most situations and competitive opportunities to “win,” are more likely to adapt away from their natural lead in order to succeed, obtain a reward, avoid punishment, or win.
- Under prolonged increased anxiety (thought to be a minimum of two years), one’s level of Introversion tends to increase. With a return to extended perceptions of safety, one’s level of Extroversion tends to return to one’s innate position.
Hans Eyesenck’s research led him to believe that the brains of human beings can be distributed along a EAI Continuum based on their innate set-point:
About 15% are very alert when fully awake (Introverts)
About 15% are much less alert when fully awake (Extraverts)
About 70% are in the middle and are moderately alert when fully awake (Ambiversion)
Extraverts tend to seek higher than average levels of stimulation in order to feel alive and awake
Introverts seek lower than average levels of simtulation in order to avoid being overwhelmed
Ambiverts seek average levels of stimulation
Some of the newer dictionaries list two spellings: Extraversion and Extroversion. Some make mention that “extra” tends to refer to externals as compared to “intro” that tends to refer to internals. That does go along with the descriptions that extraverts are outer-directed while introverts are inner-directed. Nevertheless, both terms (extroversion or extraversion) refer to the same concept. I use Extraversion with an “a,” rather than an “o.”
My goal is to stimulate your thinking and observation, trigger increased awareness at an individual level, jumpstart your application of the information to everyday living, and provide options for behaviors that are more likely to result in positive outcomes. Although I have relied heavily on brain function research, a plethora of studies, and discussions with brain researchers and other experts, the summaries represent my own brain’s observations and opinions.
Typically, conclusions from research projects and studies are presented in the form of generalizations. They apply to nearly 70% of the population (e.g., the red portions on the drawing of the Bell Curve of distribution that represent the first standard deviation on either side of the mean). Because each human brain develops uniquely, however, there are always exceptions. Some of the remaining 30% of the population will tend to match the generalizations even more closely, and some less closely.
If some of your personal characteristics / behaviors don’t match a specific generalization, it doesn’t invalidate the research. It does exemplify individual uniqueness, as no two brains are ever identical in structure, function, or perception, not even the brains of identical twins. Avoid discounting first-impression mismatches too quickly, however. Perhaps you haven’t had the opportunity to hone a specific skill, or your personal past experiences have impacted you in unusual ways.