In Chapter 4, we explained that Jung conceptualized two broad personality types, called "extraversión" and "introversion." We also noted some differences between his definitions and the prevailing notion of these two terms. Jung saw extraverted people as having an objective or nonpersonalized view of the world whereas introverts have essentially a subjective or individualized way of looking at things. Eysenck s concepts of extraversión and introversion are closer to the popular usage. Extraverts are characterized primarily by sociability and impulsiveness but also by jocularity, liveliness, quick-wittedness, optimism, and other traits indicative of people who are rewarded for their association with others (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1969).
Introverts are characterized by traits opposite those of extraverts. They can be described as quiet, passive, unsociable, careful, reserved thoughtful, pessimistic, peaceful, sober, and controlled. According to Eysenck (1982), however, the prhicipal differences between extraversión and introversion are not behavioral, but rather biological and genetic hi nature.
Eysenck (1997a) believed that the primary cause of differences between ex-traverts and introverts is one of cortical arousal level, a physiological condition that is largely inherited rather than learned. Because extraverts have a lower level of cortical arousal than do hitroverts, they have higher sensory thresholds and thus lesser reactions to sensory stimulation. Introverts, conversely, are characterized by a higher level of arousal, and as a result of a lower sensory threshold they experience greater reactions to sensory stimulation. To maintain an opthnal level of stimulation, introverts, with their congenitally low sensory threshold avoid situations that will cause too much excitement. Hence, hitroverts shun such activities as wild social events, downhill skihig, skydiving, competitive sports, leading a fraternity or sorority, or playing practical jokes.
Conversely, because extraverts have a habitually low level of cortical arousal, they need a high level of sensory stimulation to maintain an optimal level of stimulation. Therefore, extraverts participate more often hi excithig and stimulating activities. They may enjoy such activities as mountain climbing, gambling, driving fast cars, drinking alcohol, and smoking marijuana. In addition, Eysenck (1976) hypothesized that extraverts, as opposed to hitroverts, will engage in sexual intercourse earlier, more frequently, with a wider range of partners, hi a greater number of positions, with a larger variety of sexual behaviors, and will indulge hi longer precoital love play. Because extraverts have a lower level of cortical arousal, however, they become more quickly accustomed to strong sthnuli (sexual or otherwise) and respond less and less to the same stimuli, whereas introverts are less likely to become bored and uninterested in routine activities carried on with the same people.
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