Four Meanings of Introversion: Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Inhibited Introversion

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Conference: Society for Personality and Social Psychology, At San Antonio
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Abstract
Guilford demonstrated in the 1930s that the various attempts at transforming Jungian and other conceptualizations of Introversion-Extroversion into personality questionnaires were resulting in ambiguous multiple-factor scales. Proposed measurement models subdividing introversion into components resulted in heated but inconclusive debate, as exemplified by the exchange between Eysenck and Guilford in 1977 and seen again in the critique of Lucas, Diener, Grob, Suh, and Shao (2000) by Ashton, Lee, and Paunonen (2002). Carrigan (1960) argued that introversion was not effectively captured as a unitary construct, and pressure to clearly define introversion with a comprehensive conceptual and operational model continues (e.g., Block, 1995; 2010). The many meanings of introversion leave contemporary researchers with an unresolved dilemma: despite the persistent conceptual ambiguity and lack of a universally accepted measurement model, interest in the topic and demand for measures seems to be increasing (e.g.. The purpose of the present research was to return to recommendations made by previous generations of psychologists such as Guilford and Guilford (1934) and Murray (1938) that four or five factors might be needed to account for the meaningful distinctions that exist within the broad personality dimension termed "introversion-extraversion." We identified contemporary personality measures that can be usefully organized into measurement domains that reflect coherent meanings of "introversion." (Subsequently, after this 2011 paper, we renamed the Inhibited factor as Restrained Introversion, with reference to the work of J.P. Guilford.) For updates see https://www.researchgate.net/publication/265728649_Personality_Scales_for_Four_Domains_of_Introversion_Social_Thinking_Anxious_and_Restrained_Introversion_-_Prelim_Manual_09-2014
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Four Meanings of Introversion: Social, Thinking, Anxious, and Inhibited Introversion
Jennifer O. Grimes Jonathan M. Cheek and Julie K. Norem
Wellesley College
Presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology
Annual Meeting, January 2011, San Antonio, TX
Contact: Jennifer O. Grimes or Jonathan Cheek
Wellesley College Department of Psychology
jgrimes@wellesley.edu - jcheek@wellesley.edu
Guilford demonstrated in the 1930s that the various attempts at transforming Jungian and
other conceptualizations of Introversion-Extroversion into personality questionnaires
were resulting in ambiguous multiple-factor scales. Proposed measurement models
subdividing introversion into components resulted in heated but inconclusive debate, as
exemplified by the exchange between Eysenck and Guilford in 1977 and seen again in
the critique of Lucas, Diener, Grob, Suh, and Shao (2000) by Ashton, Lee, and Paunonen
(2002). Carrigan (1960) argued that introversion was not effectively captured as a unitary
construct, and pressure to clearly define introversion with a comprehensive conceptual
and operational model continues (e.g., Block, 1995; 2010).
The many meanings of introversion leave contemporary researchers with an unresolved
dilemma: despite the persistent conceptual ambiguity and lack of a universally accepted
measurement model, interest in the topic and demand for measures seems to be
increasing (e.g., Laney, 2002; http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com ). The purpose of the
present research was to return to recommendations made by previous generations of
psychologists such as Guilford and Guilford (1934) and Murray (1938) that four or five
factors might be needed to account for the meaningful distinctions that exist within the
broad personality dimension termed “introversion-extraversion.” We identified
contemporary personality measures that can be usefully organized into measurement
domains that reflect coherent meanings of “introversion.”
METHOD
The nineteen personality scales presented in Table 1 were administered to 225 female
students. These measures were grouped by examination of intercorrelations and factor
loadings into four domains of introversion.
2
Table 1: Personality Measures Included in Each of the Four Domains of Introversion
Domain 1: Social Introversion
Preference for Solitude (Burger, 1995) [.83]
Positive Stimulation subscale of the Interpersonal Orientation Scale: (Hill, 1987) (R)
[.75]
Gregariousness Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R)
[.88]
Warmth Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R) [.80]
Domain 2: Thinking Introversion
Introspectiveness (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975; Guilford, 1959) [.64]
Fantasy subscale of the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983) [.58]
Openness Scale of the Big Five Inventory (John, Donahue, & Kentle, 1991) [.76]
Personal Identity Orientation (Cheek, 1989) [.69]
Rich Inner Life factor of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (Aron & Aron, 1997; Cheek
et al., 2009) [.78]
Domain 3: Anxious Introversion
Shyness (Cheek & Melchior, 1985) [.83]
Rumination (Trapnell & Campbell, 1999) [.70]
Temperamental Sensitivity factor of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (Aron & Aron,
1997; Cheek et al., 2009) [.77]
Hypersensitive Narcissism (Hendin & Cheek, 1997) [.77]
Positive Emotions Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R)
[.54]
Assertiveness Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R) [.68]
Domain 4: Inhibited Introversion
Sensation-seeking subscale of EASI Impulsivity (Buss & Plomin, 1975) (R) [.70]
EASI Activity (Buss & Plomin, 1975) (R) [.84]
Excitement-seeking Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R)
[.70]
Activity Facet of the NEO-PI Extraversion scale (Costa & McCrae, 1992) (R) [.85]
Note: (R) indicates scales that were reverse-scored from the direction of extraversion to
the direction of introversion. Numbers in square brackets are the loadings for each scale
on the first unrotated factor of the measures within each domain (i.e., from four separate
principal component analyses).
3
RESULTS
Correlations among factor scores representing these domains indicated moderate
convergence among social, anxious, and inhibited introversion (rs averaging around .50).
Thinking introversion, however, did not correlate significantly with any of the other three
domains (see Table 2).
Table 2: Correlations among Factor Scores for Measures of Each Introversion Domain
Social
Introversion
Thinking
Introversion
Anxious
Introversion
Thinking
Introversion
-.05
Anxious
Introversion
.46*
-.01
Inhibited
Introversion
.57*
-.15
.49*
N = 225 * p .01.
CONCLUSION
The results for the Thinking factor raise the question of whether or not it should be
considered a domain of introversion at all. The constructors of one of the scales defining
that domain asserted that “the private dimension of self-consciousness is similar to the
Jungian conception of introversion” (Fenigstein et al., 1975, p. 525). Moreover, after
more than 40 years of research on the measurement of personality dimensions, Guilford
(1977) argued that thinking introversion was essential to the definition of the higher order
factor of introversion-extraversion. The status of thinking introversion would be a
promising target for further research.
We agree with Carrigan’s conclusion that when researchers use the term introversion
“care must be taken to specify its conceptual and operational referent” (1960, p. 358).
Rather than using the word by itself, researchers should put a specific modifier in front of
it, whether it be Jungian introversion, or Eysenckian, or Big Five, or one of the four
domains presented in the present research: social, thinking, anxious, or inhibited
introversion.
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4
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