Measuring introversion and extroversion

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Abstract

Academic psychologists have undertaken to clarify the rather vague and shifting meaning given to the terms “introversion” and “extroversion” by Freudian writers, but little has been done to establish the objective existence of these types, or of scales with these extremes. The existence of such traits, and their measurement, the application of a scale of measurement to college students who offer few cases of extreme abnormality, and the relation of such measurements to intelligence and scholarship are questions to which answer is sought. Six radically different tests, covering intelligence, scholarship, and four proposed measures of introversion-extroversion were given to 365 University of Washington students, and the scores were compared. The data show that scholarship bears no marked relationship to campus information, though both of these have about the same slight correlation with intelligence per centile. Scholarship has an almost negligible relationship to the four possible measures of introversion-extroversion, and no one of these measures shows any appreciable correlation with any other, although all measures used had substantial reliabilities. If either scholarship, or rapport with current gossip, or a tendency to conform to group judgment of persons, or a tendency to conform to common verbal associations, or to answer personal questions as others do, is a measure of extroversion, it would seem that no one of the others can be. The common use and application of these epithets to normal persons should be avoided until we are much more certain of our ground. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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