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

Medically reviewed by Nikki Ciletti, M.Ed, LPC
Updated June 20, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Many people may 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, describes you. 

Seeking guidance from online tests may be one way to gain some insight, but taking a step back to reflect on when you feel best, when you feel overwhelmed, and which activities help you feel recharged may also be insightful. Below, we’ll explore the differences between these personality types, how you can determine which one may describe your experience in life, and why it might be beneficial to do so. 

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What is the introvert vs. extrovert personality?

Note: For the purposes of this article, we've referred to people who identify with introverted, extroverted, and ambiverted traits as "introverts," "extroverts," and "ambiverts." However, these personality types are not fixed for all people, and they do not define the individual.

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:


Those who are extroverts often feel the most energized and like themselves when surrounded by others. They may make fast friends 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. 


It’s a common misconception, but you may picture an introverted person as one who is shy. While some introverts may be shy, most simply prefer solitude as opposed to being around lots of people. 

Many introverts can talk to people if they’re in the mood, but if there's nothing to do on a Saturday night, they may feel more relaxed at home. An introvert may be more reflective of their actions than some extroverted people. Because they may prefer to be alone, some introverts might not thrive in large groups, but it all depends on the individual.

What if I'm both?

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

How to test for introvertedness or extrovertedness

You might have a general idea of where you fall in terms of being introverted or extroverted, but you may not know where you are on this personality spectrum. If you look up a test to see how introverted or extroverted you are, you'll likely find plenty to choose from. Some are detailed, while others are broad. In general, the more detailed a test is, the better it may gauge how you think and feel.

Of course, an internet quiz may not be capable of figuring out whether or not you're an introvert or extrovert, but it might be a good tool for helping you discover what tendencies you may have. 

If you don’t identify with either or prefer to not label yourself, that’s fine too! The main benefit of discovering whether you’re an introvert or extrovert is often to better understand your own behavior so you can lead a lifestyle that better meets your needs.

How the brains of introverts and extroverts work

There have been different theories as to why the brains of introverts and extroverts work the way they do. 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 extroverts had lower arousal rates. In other words, an extrovert may stay busy by talking to people and seeking adventure because they need more activity to stimulate their minds.

Introverts, as you might imagine, may be mentally stimulated more easily. They might prefer their personal space, and sometimes talking to a few people can be enough to provide stimulation. They may experience feeling mentally and physically overwhelmed if they go into crowds or feel overstimulated.

So, was Hans right? More contemporary research suggests that the traits described by Eysenck appear 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 in their own ways. Evidence suggests that extroverts may process stimulation in the parts of the brain where the senses are, which might mean they receive a higher mental payoff from activities involving the senses.

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

Why your personality type can matter

Being an introvert or an extrovert may matter for several reasons, and being aware of your personality type might help you in situations such as:

Getting to know people

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An introvert and an extrovert who are opposites on the scale can be friends, but being aware of one another’s needs can be an indispensable trait in their friendship. 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, which may worsen 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 may help you better manage your mental and physical well-being.


You may want a job suited to your personality. An introvert might enjoy a job where they get to keep to themselves and don't have to talk to coworkers often. On the other hand, an extrovert may enjoy a career where they get to speak to people or travel. 

Some people may like jobs where they feel like they’re challenging 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 might have an easier time planning the best career path for you.

How to seek professional guidance

If you’re interested in learning more about your personality, talking to a counselor might be the most helpful way to find out if you're introverted or extroverted. You may get a general idea of your personality type by taking an internet quiz. Still, a professional can help you analyze your behavior to help you understand your needs and what enables you to feel the most satisfied. 

Working with a mental health professional may also help you overcome any challenges with your preferences, such as having difficulty meeting new people or enjoying being on your own.

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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. Whether or not you’re easily intimidated by talking to others, online therapy can help you save time and money by allowing you to pursue treatment that fits your schedule or needs.

Working with a therapist online might also remove some of the worries 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 discuss more through online mediums. It also noted that remote sessions allowed participants to feel more immersed in and focused on treatment.


Introverts and extroverts may experience different needs related to social activity and mental stimulation, which might be due to differences in how the brains of each personality type function. Regardless of where you fall on Carl Jung’s spectrum, a mental health professional can work with you to better understand your needs, how your personality impacts how you connect to others, and how you can best help yourself thrive.
Tests can bring up many emotions
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