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5 Little-known Facts About Introversion

January 8, 2018 1:11 am

Are you an introvert? Experts from CPP, Inc., the publisher of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment have gone through decades worth of data on MBTI type to offer some of the most interesting and surprising facts, statistics and tips about the Introversion preference.

"Although roughly half of us prefer Introversion, Western society is in many ways just getting to know what this dimension of personality actually means, partly because it's more difficult to observe," says Rich Thompson, PhD, Director of Research at CPP, Inc. "While the most developed parts of the Extraverted personality type are outwardly observable, with Introverted personality type, those aspects are often not externally exhibited."

While many aspects of Introversion align with common perceptions, others are surprising. But the biggest takeaway is that Introversion is actually pretty complicated, and is manifest in all kinds of different ways. Here are a few things you may not have known:

1.  "Introversion" is made up of several distinct facets of personality

You may think of it as a single dimension, but there are actually many subdimensions that describe the complex nature of Introversion. Here are five:
- Initiating or Receiving
- Expressive or Contained
- Gregarious or Intimate
- Active or Reflective
- Enthusiastic or Quiet

2.  Introversion in the workplace: slower to hit "send", tougher to please

You may have observed that people who prefer Introversion will take more time to respond in meetings, but did you know that this extends to written communication, too? Folks with this preference are likely to take more time composing an email than those preferring Extraversion.

Tip: If you prefer Introversion and someone is expecting an email from you, experts recommend sending a 'holding email' to manage expectations while you gather your thoughts.

Furthermore, those with a preference for Introversion are 12 percent less likely to be satisfied in their job and 20 percent less likely to be happy at work than those preferring Extraversion. While we don't know exactly why this is, one reason may be that they're less likely to have their voices heard and it can be challenging to find quiet, alone time in the workplace.

Tip to include those who prefer Introversion in your group discussion: Slowly count to eight after you ask a question before moving on to the next subject.

3.  Some kinds of Introversion are common, some are rare

Men preferring Introversion make up 54 percent of the (male) population, but that's only part of the story. ISTJ preferences are the most common Introverted type for men, making up 16.4 percent, while INFJ preferences are only 1.3 percent, making them the least common. What's the difference? Among other things, people with ISTJ preferences tend to be practical, sensible, realistic and systematic, and others often see them as calm, reserved and serious. Those with INTJ preferences, on the other hand, tend to be creative, visionary and idealistic, and are often seen by others as mysterious, intense and individualistic.

Making up 47 percent of the female population, Introverted personality types are slightly less common than with men, but every bit as varied. INTJ preferences, the least common Introverted MBTI type among women at 0.8 percent, are typically rational, detached, critical thinkers with a penchant for conceptual, long-range thinking, and are often seen by others as private, reserved and aloof. On the other hand, women with ISFJ preferences, the most common Introverted MBTI type in the female population at 19.4 percent, are typically practical, realistic, cooperative and thoughtful, and often seen by others as quiet, serious, considerate and conscientious.

4.  Views on spirituality vary by Introverted type

Those preferring Introversion also show significant variance when it comes to spirituality, depending on their type. When asked if they believe in a higher spiritual power, of all those who prefer Introversion, those with INTJ preferences are most likely to answer 'no' (23 percent), while those who prefer ISFJ are the least likely to answer 'no' (11 percent). To put it in perspective, a 2016 U.S. Gallup poll shows between 11 and 21 percent of Americans not having a belief in God or a universal spirit.

5.  Many incorrectly estimate their own personality type

Curious about what Introverted type is most likely to estimate their type correctly, and what type is most likely to guess wrong? Of the eight types of personalities with preferences for Introversion, those preferring ISTJ are mostly likely to estimate their type correctly compared to their official MBTI results (and do so 55 percent of the time). Conversely, when taking the official MBTI assessment,  those with preferences for ISFP are least likely to be able to estimate their actual MBTI type (estimating correctly only 25 percent of the time). So what do those who prefer ISFP often think their type is? They often mistake their type for ISTP (7.5 percent of the time) and INFP (7.1 percent of the time).

What's the cause of getting the wrong MBTI type? There are many reasons, but one of the most common is taking a fake assessment, and unfortunately, these abound on the web. The authentic, scientifically-validated MBTI assessment is only offered through an MBTI certified practitioner or at

Source: CPP—The Myers-Briggs® Company

Published with permission from RISMedia.