Are extroverts more common than introverts? (A Complete Guide)

In this article, we will discuss Are extroverts more common than introverts?. We are going to discuss the available statistics on the number of extroverts and introverts in the world. We will then move on to describe how we overestimate the number of extroverts over introverts. Finally,  we will explain how many people may actually be ambiverts and how the concept of extroverts should not be taken as black and white categories. 

Are extroverts more common than introverts? 

No.  Although we don’t have the exact statistics of the number of extroverts and introverts in the world.  However,  based on the results of multiple studies, we have found that the number of extroverts and introverts is roughly equal.  Studies in which extroverts are higher in number can be explained by certain theories that have suggested that we overestimate the number of extroverts in the world. These theories are called friendship paradox and extroversion bias.  It must also be mentioned that there are no pure extroverts or introverts. In fact, many people have traits of both extroverts and introverts and are called ambiverts.

Statistics

We don’t have exact statistics on the prevalence of extroverts or introverts in the world. Multiple studies give different facts and figures based on which we can not verify how many percentages of extroverts and introverts truly exist. Some evidence-based information based on the introversion extroversion spectrum is present but ambiverts are not included in it.

  • According to research by Myer Briggs organization, introverts are 50.7% and extroverts are 49.3% in the United States population. In their sample 45.9% of males and 62.5% of women were extroverted and 54.1 % men and 47.5% of women were introverted.
  • Another study by the American Trends panel in 2014 conducted research on 3243 participants and asked them to describe themselves as extroverts or introverts. It was found that 12% of them were extroverted 5% were introverted, 77% lied between the two, and 6% were unsure.
  • A study conducted on American lawyers reveals that the sample consisted of 56.4 % introverts and 43.6 % extroverts. This study was conducted in 1993.
  • Another survey on 1600 librarians revealed that 63% were introverts and 37% were extroverts. This study was conducted in 1994 using Myer Brigg type indicator.
  • A recent study in 2016 shows that 79% of introverts make decisions based on intuition and 50% of extroverts make decisions quickly.

Our biases clouds our estimate of extroverts and introverts in the world

It is generally assumed that extroverts dominate this world and introverts are quite less in number. However, a new study by psychological science suggests that we have a tendency to over perceive the number of extroverts in the world.

Daniel Feiler and Adam Kleinbaum give two psychological theories. They are called the extroversion bias and the friendship Paradox. According to friendship Paradox, we have a tendency to be friends with people who already have many friends. So our perception is biased based on extroversion bias which makes us think that these people are extroverts because they have many friends, are social and outgoing. It gives us a false perception that there are more extroverts in the world than introverts. Introverts make about 30 to 50% of the population-based in some studies.

 This understanding harms introverts because they start to think that there is something wrong with them. They feel like they don’t belong anywhere. And fear of missing out on the fun. However, In reality, there are many introverts in the world.  

Extroversion-Introversion Spectrum 

In 1920s, the terms extrovert and introvert became quite popular. They were introduced by Carl Jung and continued to grow as a concept.  They became incorporated in one of the biggest personality tests like the big 5 and Myer Briggs type indicator. They were conceptualized as orientation for the process of drawing energy.  Introverts were thought to draw energy by being alone whereas extroverts were thought to draw it by being in relationships and from their surroundings.  According to Carl Jung,  there is a third type called anniversary which is less common. These personalities have the characteristics of both extroverts and introverts.

 According to Adam Grant, a psychologist, ambiverts are between a half and two-thirds of the total population.  These people have the advantages of having traits of both extroverts and introverts.  Because of this, they win at life and business. They are also quite productive and can be assertive leaders, business owners, co-workers, and salespeople. 

 Carol Dweck,  another psychologist suggests that introverts and extroverts do exist but extreme forms of them are highly unlikely.  He also explains the growth mindset that people have. This means that a person continues to grow with time and enhances his or her qualities. In other words, his personality continues to evolve with effort. He also explained a different concept called a fixed mindset. It refers to the conviction one has about the amount of personality or intelligence or talent one has.

 Fixed mindset can be understood as a story that is, a person believes that they are in a certain way and they will stay that way for the rest of their life. It’s a story we tell ourselves. A person who understands themself or labels themself as an introvert will have difficulty recognizing their extroverted side or extroverted behavior. Accordingly, they will act like an introverts for the rest of their life. They will also continue to avoid stressful situations and isolate themselves from others. 

 We can say that self as a story tendencies can be associated with lower psychological well being especially if the self conceptualization is negative in nature. Similarly, if we talk about fixed mindset, they are correlated with low self-esteem, low self-awareness, reduced creativity, and reduced resilience.

 Ironically, the stories that we tell ourselves are not true. We continue to evolve throughout our life. Our personality is not constant. We continue to change and add traits to our personality with increasing age.

 Identification of ambiverts has enabled us to understand the concept that personalities can also be situational. Some scientists suggest that personalities are actually a myth because humans are not fixed personalities with fixed traits. We act the way we do depending on the situation. So, there are no introverts or extroverts because this concept refers to fixed personality traits. Research also suggests that the way we act depends on what we believe. For example, if I believe that I am extroverted I will act that way. This can be used adaptively. However, when we think that our personality is restricted to black and white categories,  we limit ourselves. 

 It is better that we try to understand our situations rather than focusing on understanding ourselves because it is the situation that actually governs how we behave at a certain point.

 If we think about Ambiverts we come to know that they understand that acting like a one of the traits can be quite draining for them. So instead of choosing how to behave for the rest of their life, they let the situation govern their behaviour. In one situation they will act extroverted and socialize with people, go to parties and have fun with others. Whereas, in another situation, they will get overly stimulated by lots of people and need their alone time in order to recharge.

 So in short, we should try not to label ourselves as extroverts or introverts and act the way we feel.

FAQs: Are extroverts more common than introverts?

What Percentage of population is extroverted?

 According to a Myer brigg study on the United State population, 49.3 percent of people were extroverts.

 Is it rare to be an ambivert?

  Yes, ambiverts may be quite rare. Some estimates suggest that 20% of the population may be ambiverts.

 Who is more likely to be successful extroverts or introverts?

 One study has found that extroverts are more likely to be successful because they exhibit proactive behaviour.  However, this does not mean introverts are not successful.

 Are introverts rare?

 No,  introverts make up about 25 to 40% of the population or maybe even more than this.

Conclusion

In this article, we discussed Are extroverts more common than introverts?. We found that although we don’t have the exact statistics of the number of extroverts and introverts in the world.  However,  based on the results of multiple studies, we have found that the number of extroverts and introverts is roughly equal.  Studies in which extroverts are higher in number can be explained by certain theories that have suggested that we overestimate the number of extroverts in the world. These theories are called friendship paradox and extroversion bias.  It must also be mentioned that there are no exact extroverts or introverts. In fact, many people have traits of both extroverts and introverts and are called ambiverts.

 I hope you found this article interesting. If you have any queries or comments, please state them in the comment section 😊

Citations

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-gen-y-guide/201710/the-majority-people-are-not-introverts-or-extroverts

https://positivepsychology.com/introversion-extroversion-spectrum/

Divya is currently a Clinical Psychology Trainee in a Master of Philosophy program and holds a Master’s in clinical psychology. She has a special interest in Personality studies and disorders, having researched the subject before, and Neuropsychology; with an additional interest being Mood disorders. She likes to write about Psychiatric issues, having worked in multiple specialty setups during her time as a clinical psychology student, and in her free time she likes to cook and read.