The Introvert Vs. Extrovert Personality Test And Why You Should Care

Updated August 10, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many people rely on definitions of introverted and extroverted personality types to describe their behavior and personal preferences. Doing so can be helpful in terms of learning what sort of environments you work and function best in, but it’s not always easy to determine which label, if either, truly describes you. Seeking out the guidance of online tests may be one way to gain some insight, but so too is taking a step back to reflect on when you feel best, when you feel overwhelmed, and which activities help you feel recharged. Below, we’ll explore what the difference between these personality types is, how you can determine which one best suits you, and why it might be pertinent to do so. 

What Is The Introvert Vs. Extrovert Personality?

In the early 20th century, psychologist Carl Jung developed a theory for basic personality types that popularized these two personalities. Below are the basic definitions for each one:

  • Extrovert: Those who are extroverts often feel the most energized and like themselves when surrounded by others. They may make friends easily and love socializing, spending time with others, and being in spaces full of activity. Extroverts may have a hard time meeting their needs when they are alone for extended periods. 

  • Introvert: You may picture an introverted person as one who is shy, but that is a common misconception. While some introverts may be shy, most simply prefer their own company rather than being around people. Many introverts can talk to people if needed, but if there's nothing to do on a Saturday night, they may be relieved rather than upset. An introvert may be more reflective on their actions than most extroverted people are. Because they prefer to be alone, some introverts don't thrive well in groups, but it all depends on the individual.

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What If I'm Both?

You may believe that this is not a very nuanced way of viewing the world. Some people, have tendencies of both introverts and extroverts. You may, for instance, enjoy the company of people but have times where you function best when alone. Carl Jung believed that no one truly is a full introvert or extrovert; instead, he surmised that every person exists somewhere on the spectrum between the two.

This leads us to a final classification, one that’s perhaps best described as a happy medium between the two extremes listed above:

  • Ambivert: An ambivert is someone who falls in the middle of the scale. They may enjoy the company of people, but too much social time may still overwhelm them. Whether they prefer to be alone or not may depend on their mood, stress levels, or how often they’ve recently been surrounded by others.

How To Test For Introvertedness Or Extrovertedness

You probably have a general idea of where you fall in terms of being introverted or extroverted, but you might not have an idea how far you swing. If you look up a test to see how introverted or extroverted you are, you're probably going to find plenty to choose from. Some are detailed, while others are quick. In general, the more detailed a test is, the more likely it may be to accurately gauge how you function best.

Of course, an internet quiz may not be capable of truly to figuring out whether or not you're an introvert or extrovert. It may simply act as a good tool for helping you discover what tendencies you have. 

It’s perfectly okay to identify with either or no label based on what you think feels best. The main benefit of discovering where you fall is often just better understanding your own behavior so that you can learn to lead a lifestyle that meets your needs.

How The Brains Of Introverts And Extroverts Work

There have been different theories as to how the brains of introverts and extroverts are how they are. Hans Eysenck, a psychologist, proposed in the 1960s that introverts and extroverts were stimulated in different ways. Hans looked at the arousal rate of introverts vs. extroverts. He found that extroverts had lower arousal rates. In other words, an extrovert may seem to be always talking to people and seeking adventure because they need more to stimulate their minds.

Introverts, as you can imagine, can be mentally stimulated much more easily. They often prefer their bubble, and sometimes talking to one person can be enough to provide stimulation. If they get into crowds or have too much to deal with, they can become overwhelmed both mentally and physically. 

So, was Hans right? More contemporary research suggests that the traits described by Eysenck seem to connect to the function and structure of different parts of the brain. As it turns out, introverts and extroverts may have two different types of brains that respond to stimulation differently. Interestingly, it seems that extroverts may tend to process stimulation in the parts of the brain where the senses are, which might mean they receive a higher mental payoff from activities that involve the senses.

Overall, the human brain loves to seek dopamine, the feel-good chemical in your brain. The difference between introverts and extroverts may be the way in which the dopamine is released. Extroverts may require more risk, exploration, or stimulation to get the same reward that introverts might feel while snuggling up on the couch to watch a movie by themselves, for instance. 

Why Your Personality Type Can Matter

Being an introvert or an extrovert can matter for several reasons, and being aware of where you can help you in many situations, including:

Getting To Know People

An introvert and an extrovert who are extreme on the scale can be friends, but being aware of one another’s needs can be vital. Likewise, understanding how you tend to function best can help you socialize in a way that’s positive and sustainable for you. It may also help you communicate your needs to others so you can avoid misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or differences in expectations. 

For Your Health

Feeling constant stress and exhaustion from a lack of or too much social activity can take a toll on your mental and physical health, especially over time. Things like poor sleep, having a hard time performing self-care, and the development of mental illnesses like depression or anxiety may follow periods of ignoring your needs or misunderstanding them. Knowing your personality type can help you succeed.


When it comes to work, you'll likely want a job that's well-suited to your personality. An introvert may enjoy a job where they get to keep to themselves and don't have to talk to coworkers very often. On the other hand, an extrovert may enjoy a career where they get to speak to people or travel. Some people like jobs that challenge who they are, and others don’t. It all depends on your goals and what helps you succeed, and by finding out your personality type, you can be on your way to a career path right for you.

How To Seek Professional Guidance

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Perhaps the best way to find out if you're introverted or extroverted is to talk to a counselor. You can get a general idea of what you are by taking an internet quiz, but a professional can help you more thoroughly analyze your behavior so that you can understand what your needs are and what things help you feel the most satisfied. Working with a mental health professional may also help you overcome any challenges that come with your preferences, such as having a hard time meeting new people or finding it difficult to enjoy being on your own.

Introverts and extroverts alike can benefit from resources like online therapy, too, which makes it easy to connect with a professional who understands your goals right from the comfort of your own home. Even if you’re not easily intimidated by talking to others, online therapy can help you save time and money by allowing you to pursue treatment in a way that fits your schedule or needs.

Working with a therapist online might also remove some of the worry or uncertainties you may have about pursuing professional support. One 2020 study examining patient experiences with online therapy found that many participants felt they could tell more through online mediums. It also noted that the digital nature of the sessions allowed participants to feel more fully immersed in and focused on treatment.


Introverts and extroverts tend to experience different needs related to social activity and mental stimulation, which may be in part due to differences in the way the brains of each personality type function. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, understanding your needs and how your personality impacts the way you connect to others can help you learn to thrive.

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