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Relationship Between Introversion/Extroversion Personality Trait and Proficiency in ESL Writing Skills

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The study aims at investigating the role of extroversion/introversion personality traits in learning writing skills of English as a second language. The selected sample for the research consisted of 57 participants who undertook instruction on ‘Essay Writing and Presentation’ for six months as a formal course of study in their MA English Program. The research tools consisted of a questionnaire and an achievement test on writing skills. The questionnaire consisted of 30 items all adopted from Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire to measure the introversion/extroversion traits of students’ personality. After identifying their personality trait (i.e., introvert, extrovert and neurotic), the participants were given an achievement test on writing skills. The participants’ scores in the achievement test were submitted to SPSS and independent sample t-test was applied. The findings reveal that a significant difference exists between the writing achievement of introvert and extrovert learner groups. However, no difference is found between the writing performance of neurotic and introvert learner groups or between neurotic and extrovert learner groups. The results also reveal that introverts are better learners of ESL writing skills as compared to the extroverts.
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International Journal of English Linguistics; Vol. 9, No. 4; 2019
ISSN 1923-869X E-ISSN 1923-8703
Published by Canadian Center of Science and Education
107
Relationship Between Introversion/Extroversion Personality Trait and
Proficiency in ESL Writing Skills
Sumaira Qanwal1 & Mamuna Ghani1
1 Department of English, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan
Correspondence: Sumaira Qanwal, Department of English, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
E-mail: qanwalsumaira1@gmail.com
Received: April 20, 2019 Accepted: May 17, 2019 Online Published: July 2, 2019
doi:10.5539/ijel.v9n4p107 URL: https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v9n4p107
Abstract
The study aims at investigating the role of extroversion/introversion personality traits in learning writing skills of
English as a second language. The selected sample for the research consisted of 57 participants who undertook
instruction on ‘Essay Writing and Presentation’ for six months as a formal course of study in their MA English
Program. The research tools consisted of a questionnaire and an achievement test on writing skills. The
questionnaire consisted of 30 items all adopted from Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire to measure the
introversion/extroversion traits of students’ personality. After identifying their personality trait (i.e., introvert,
extrovert and neurotic), the participants were given an achievement test on writing skills. The participants’
scores in the achievement test were submitted to SPSS and independent sample t-test was applied. The findings
reveal that a significant difference exists between the writing achievement of introvert and extrovert learner
groups. However, no difference is found between the writing performance of neurotic and introvert learner
groups or between neurotic and extrovert learner groups. The results also reveal that introverts are better learners
of ESL writing skills as compared to the extroverts.
Keywords: introversion, extroversion, personality traits, proficiency in writing skills, English as a second
language
1. Introduction
The procedure of learning a second/foreign language (SL/FL) uncovers incredible individual variability among
learners. These individual differences are majorly categorized as cognitive, affective and personality variables.
The cognitive group is identified with mental information processing including aptitude and intelligence; the
affective variables include motivation and attitude; and the personality variables include
introversion/extroversion, anxiety, self-esteem, risk-taking, tolerance, empathy and many others. The conviction
that the individual differences of personality in general and the intro-extro dimensions in particular help learners’
capability in English as a foreign language (EFL) is held by various researchers including Berry (2007), Dewaele
and Furnham (1999), Kiany (1998), and Van Daele (2005).
Extroversion has generally been viewed as an accommodating attribute for language learning. In the 1970s, it
was hypothesized by some connected linguists (Brown, 2000; Naiman, Fröhlich, Stern, & Todesco, 1978;
Skehan, 1989) that extroverts in comparison with introverts are better language learners since they make more
chances to practice the language by exploiting the data they are furnished with and deliver more yield. Hence, it
can be presumed that extroverts being higher yield generators should be fit for learning a FL more quickly than
their contemplative partners.
On the other hand, many psychologists (e.g., Cook, 2002; Eysenck & Eysenck, 1985; Kiany, 1998; Matthews &
Deary, 1998) hold the opinion that extroversion is somewhat a drawback in terms of learning a language. This
supposition is focused around a solid biological ground that extroverts have lower level of cortical arousal, and
in the meantime get more easily hindered which makes them more defenseless to mental diversion. Furthermore,
they have a restricted long-term memory than introverts who profit from having a more extensive long-term
memory span (Eysenck et al., 1981). These biologically decided diversities cause both groups to have diverse
behavioral tendencies. Eysenck and Eysenck (1985) have additionally watched that it is introverts who attain
superior academic achievement on composed tests in research as compared to extroverts, in this manner
proposing that the previous are better language learners.
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Remembering these two angles, one can watch that there is an acceptable contradiction between the applied
linguists’ and the psychologists’ opinions concerning the impacts of the intro-extro tendencies on general
learning. As the few studies conducted so far have not delivered predictable results, the point of this study is to
research these two angles more lucidly. Specifically, the present study will attempt to exhibit how the level of
introversion and extroversion in the individual’s personality influences learners’ language proficiency. However,
the study has been delimited by choosing only one of the areas of language proficiency, i.e., writing skills, to
investigate the effect of intro-extro personality traits. Hence, the research questions are:
1) Is there any relationship between the ESL learners’ personality traits and their potential for learning writing
skills at Masters level?
2) What type of relationship exists between the intro-extro tendencies of the ESL learners and their performance
in writing skills at Masters level?
2. Literature Review
2.1 Eysenck’s Theory of Personality
Hans Eysenck, a German psychologist well-known for his experimental studies on the nature of personality,
initially, was of the opinion that personality can be adequately described by two factors such as
extroversion-introversion and neuroticism-stability. However, more recently, as a result of a series of factor
analytic studies, he proposed the third dimension, namely psychoticism-normality. His scientific model of
personality, commonly known as the PEN model (the acronym stands for Psychoticism, Extroversion, and
Neuroticism) consists of a number of sub-traits which have been classified as belonging to the three universal
dimensions. The three dimensions are explained by Matthews and Deary (1998, p. 25) in the following way:
Psychoticism (P) involves people who are predisposed to be aggressive, cold, egocentric, impersonal,
impulsive, anti-social, unsympathetic, manipulative, creative etc.
Extroversion (E) is ascribed to people who tend to be sociable, active, assertive, dominant, irresponsible,
risk-taking, sensation-seeking, expressive, and venturesome.
Neuroticism (N) involves individuals who are inclined to be anxious, depressed, guilt-feeling, tense, moody,
irrational, shy, and emotional.
What Eysenck et al. (1981) proposed is that a person is not classified as possessing only one of the three
dimensions. Rather, he is likely to show some degree of each of these factors on the continuum.
Although Eysenck’s picture of the personality traits appears to be unbiased, there is a generally observable
tendency in various environments such as schools, peer groups, work places and many others to favour the
extrovert behavior. The existence of such a situation has been observed by numerous researchers including
Brown et al. (1973), Bush (1982), and Gardner (1978). However, Ausubel (1968, p. 413) emphasizes the fact
that learners’ introversion and extroversion may be “a grossly misleading index of social adjustment”. What he
implies is that the role of introversion and extroversion is often misinterpreted in language classes. This
misconception results from the fact that teachers are inclined to take their pupils’ behaviour at face value and
categorize them according to the existing stereotypes, which very often turn out to be far from the truth. In the
same way, Brown (2000) also seems to openly favour introversion by saying that introverts can have an inner
strength of character that extroverts do not have.
2.2 Research About Personality and Language Learning
The biological basis of personality has indicated that introverts and extroverts have certain predispositions, albeit
different, which may significantly contribute to the process of learning a SL/FL. However, we will limit our
discussion to the relationship of personality traits with writing skills only
2.2.1 Personality Traits and Writing Skills
Contrary to the predictions of applied linguists, the advocates of Eysenck’s theory are convinced that introverts
are better language learners due to the fact that they possess “more mental concentration and can thus focus more
on the task at hand” (Van Daele, 2005, p. 96). Ehrman and Oxford (1990) undertook a study in which they
investigated what strategies were applied by 20 adult language learners with various style preferences. To define
participants’ psychological types, including the intro-extro dimension, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI),
a personality testing instrument, was used. The authors’ findings, among other things, indicated “some language
learning advantage for introverts” (p. 323). When the researchers correlated students’ scores obtained by means
of MBTI with the scores on the Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL), it showed that no correlations
were found between extroversion and language learning strategy use. In view of this, it was concluded that
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introversion can be advantageous in a classroom where concentrated study and focus are required.
Another research in which the correlations between extroversion and scores on written performance tests
appeared to be inversely significant, was the study undertaken by Carrell, Patricia, Gusti and Moneta (1996). A
group of EFL students in Indonesia participated in a longitudinal study, one-semester long course which
included a series of EFL language measures like non-standardized, monthly tests of reading, grammar,
vocabulary and writing. The participants’ personality types were measured by means of the MBTI instrument.
The statistically significant difference between introverts and extroverts indicated that the former considerably
outscored their extrovert peers when it comes to the end-of-course composite grades (Carrell et al., 1996, p. 94).
The authors, surprised by the findings, recommended further research in this field.
Kiany (1998) in her study investigated the impact of the intro-extro dimension on academic achievement and L2
proficiency. Forty Iranian, non-English PhD students were involved in the research. The Iranian version of the
EPQ was intended to measure the participants’ degree of extroversion. Besides, standardized tests like TOEFL
and IELTS were also used to measure the FL proficiency and the grade point averages (GPAs) for measuring
academic achievements. The results indicated negative but non-significant correlations between extroversion and
scores on the writing tests of the instruments mentioned above. The author concluded that introverts may have an
advantage when it comes to the writing tests.
Carrell’s (2002) study exposed that the writers’ personality type affects the rating they get for their essays.
Chamorro-Premuzic and Furnham (2003, a, b) uncovered significant relationships between intro-extro
personality trait and academic performance. Chamorro-Premuzic, Furnham, Dissou and Heaven’s (2005) study
inferred that extrovert ESL learners are more comfortable with oral examination as compared to the written ones,
and that they prefer to work in groups rather than alone. In another study, Erton (2010) showed that learning
styles of extrovert students are different from those of the introverts leading to proficiency differences between
the two. Widyastuti (2012) concluded that extroversion is positively correlated with L2 writing and vocabulary
skills.
On the contrary, two other studies (Mansourinejad, Bijami, & Ahmadi, 2012; Alavinia & Hassanlou, 2014)
indicated that no relationship exists between personality type and writing ability.
In an EFL based study, Shokrpour and Moslehi (2015) found no relationship between personality type and
students’ self and teacher correction techniques in writing.
However, Zafar, Khan and Meenakshi’s (2017) research uncovered that intro-extro personality dimension is
significantly correlated with language learning skills. According to this study, extroverts have an advantage on
the introverts in speaking and reading skills while the latter perform better in listening skills. In case of writing
skills, personality type does not seem to have any impact.
In Pakistani ESL context, Qurat-ul-Ain and Saeed’s (2017) study showed that introverts outperform their
extrovert counter parts in writing.
The aforementioned studies examined the relationship of intro-extro personality dimensions with language
learning achievement in various worldwide contexts. As the above given discussion reveals, these studies came
up with somewhat conflicting results regarding the impact of intro-extro personality on learning achievement in
general. However, in terms of writing proficiency in particular, the studies have majorly proved introversion as
being an advantage over extroversion. Therefore, the present study has tried to see the role of the personality
traits in writing proficiency of second language learners in a different context, i.e. Pakistan in order to
counter-test the findings of the previous research on the subject.
Furthermore, after reviewing the abovementioned studies, it seems that second language learning research has
focused more on examining intro-extro personality traits, while the role of intermediary personality dimension,
i.e., neuroticism has not been given its due consideration. Henceforth, besides comparing the impact of
introversion and extroversion on writing skills, the present study has included the third dimension, i.e.,
neuroticism also in the circumference of its investigation.
3. Research Methodology
3.1 Research Sample
The research population involved the students of MA English at a public sector university of Punjab, Pakistan.
Cluster sampling was adopted as a sampling technique for the present study. A group of the first semester MA
English students was selected as sample. These students had undertaken instruction on “Essay Writing and
Presentation Skills” as a course for five months. The class consisted of 71 students. Out of these 71 students 57
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showed their willingness to participate in the study. Hence, they were selected as participants for the present
research study.
3.2 Research Tools
Two research tools (a questionnaire and an achievement test of writing skills) were used to collect data for the
study.
3.2.1 Questionnaire
Eysenck’s personality questionnaire (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1975) was used to identify personality traits of the
participants (i.e., introvert, neurotic and extrovert). However, only 30 items of Eysenck’s personality
questionnaire were adopted and included in the questionnaire for the present study. Only those items which were
specifically meant to measure introversion/extroversion aspects of the participants’ personality were selected
from the original Eysenck’s personality questionnaire.
3.2.2 Achievement Test
The achievement test comprised of an essay writing task. This test was used both as a pre-test and post-test. At
the beginning of the course, the selected participants were asked to write an essay on “A Memorable Function”
in 40 minutes. The rationale behind choosing the said topic was to assign a personal writing task which would
supply them with an easily retrievable content from their subjective experience, as the purpose was just to assess
their writing skills and not to judge their knowledge on a specific subject area. Further, it was expected that the
narrative nature of the topic would expose their command on grammar and the use of appropriate vocabulary in
the target language. The time duration of 40 minutes was allocated with a purpose to give them sufficient time
for brain storming (approx. 5–7 minutes,) pre-writing/mind mapping (approx. 5–7 minutes) and final draft
(approx. 25–30 minutes). The essay was of total 20 marks. The students’ performance in the test was to be
judged on the basis of vocabulary (5 marks), spelling & grammar (5 marks), content (5 marks) and expression (5
marks). The aim was to judge the status of proficiency in writing skills in English as a second language before
taking the formal course on essay writing skills.
Later, when the course was completed, the participants were again asked to write an essay on the same topic ‘a
memorable function’. The purpose was to measure their current proficiency in writing skills and to compare it
with the previous one.
3.3 Data Analysis Procedure
The data were analyzed in two stages. First, the data based on Eysenck’s personality questionnaire were
analyzed manually by taking mean scores, thus, dividing the students in three groups based on their personality
traits, i.e., Extroverts, Neurotics and Introverts. Secondly, data obtained in the form of the participants’ scores in
pre and post writing tests were analyzed by using paired samples statistics and independent sample t-test in SPSS.
Inferences and conclusions were drawn systematically on the basis of statistics provided by SPSS.
4. Data Analysis
4.1 Analysis of Personality Questionnaire
The data collected through the questionnaire were analyzed manually by using the statistical technique of
deriving arithmetic mean against each statement. The following formula was used to get the arithmetic mean:
M = N
fxΣ
(1)
Where
M = Arithmetic mean
fx = Sum of the mid points/scores obtained by the students on a given answer weighed by their
frequencies/answers
N = Total number of responses made by participant on a questionnaire
Using this formula, a participant’s mean score for each of 30 statements (whose responses were collected on
5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree) was calculated. Following this, the
participant’s total mean score on the questionnaire was obtained by computing the average of his/her 30 mean
score values. The purpose was to get familiar with personality trait of the participants. The following results
were obtained.
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Table 1. Participants’ scores on EPQ and their personality type
Mean Score range on EPQ Personality Type Frequency % age N
1.0–2.5 Introversion 14 24 57
2.6–3.5 Neuroticism 15 27
3.6–5.0 Extroversion 28 49
Table 1 shows that out of 57 participants, 14 were found to be introverts (mean score 1.0–2.5), 15 neurotics
(mean score 2.6–3.5), and 28 extroverts (mean score 3.6–5.0).
4.2 Analysis of Achievement Test (Writing Skills)
The participants’ written essays ware graded for their use of vocabulary, spelling and grammar, content and
expression. The scores on each of the four parameters ranged from 0 to 5. Following the below given key (Table
2), total mean score for each personality group’s (i.e., introverts, neurotics and extroverts) performance in the
four parameters of writing (vocabulary, spelling and grammar, content and expression) was calculated
statistically to know its overall proficiency in each domain.
Table 2. Key for determining proficiency levels
Proficiency level Mean Score
Poor 0–2.0
Satisfactory 2.1–3.0
Average 3.1–3.5
Good 3.6–4.0
Exceptional 4.1–5.0
The obtained results for the mean scores of extroverts, neurotics and introvert learner groups in the four
parameters of writing proficiency are given in the Tables 3–6.
Table 3a. Scores of vocabulary (pre-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 13 2.75 5 2.93 6 2.85
Average 10 6 4
Good 4 4 4
Exceptional 1 0 0
Total 28 15 14
Table 3a shows participants’ scores in pre-test vocabulary. Extroverts’ mean scores, i.e., 2.75, shows them to be
at ‘satisfactory’ level of competence in using appropriate vocabulary in writing. While the neurotics’ and
introverts’ mean scores, i.e., 2.93 and 2.85 respectively imply that vocabulary skill of both groups is also of
‘satisfactory’ level, but a little better that of extroverts. So, the inference is made that performance of introverts
in terms of vocabulary is better than the extroverts but almost similar to that of neurotics.
Table 3b. Scores of vocabulary (post-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 5 17.9 3.46 0 0 3.80 1 7.1 3.93
Average 9 32.1 3 20.0 1 7.1
Good 10 35.7 12 80.0 10 71.4
Exceptional 4 14.3 0 0 2 14.3
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
Table 3b shows participants’ scores in post-test vocabulary. Extroverts’ mean scores, i.e., 3.46, shows them to be
at ‘average’ level of competence in using appropriate vocabulary in writing. While the neurotics’ and introverts’
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mean scores, i.e., 3.80 and 3.93 respectively imply that vocabulary skill of both groups is ‘good’. So, the
inference is made that performance of introverts in terms of vocabulary is better than the extroverts but almost
similar to that of neurotics.
Table 4a. Score of grammar (pre-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 11 2.89 7 2.66 8 2.71
Average 9 6 2
Good 8 2 4
Exceptional 0 0 0
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100.0
The statistics of Table 4a reveal the command of the participants on pre-test grammar. Mean scores 2.89, 2.66
and 2.71 respectively indicate ‘satisfactory’ competence of all groups in the field of grammar. However,
extroverts score is a little better than the other two groups.
Table 4b. Scores of grammar (post-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 11 39.3 2.93 1 6.7 3.07 2 14.3 3.36
Average 8 28.6 12 80.0 5 35.7
Good 9 32.1 2 13.3 7 50.0
Exceptional 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
The statistics of Table 4b reveal the command of the participants on post-test grammar. Mean scores 2.93, 3.07
and 3.36 respectively indicate ‘satisfactory’ competence of the extroverts and ‘average’ competence of the
neurotics and introverts in the field of grammar.
Table 5a. Scores of content (pre-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 11 2.96 5 2.80 6 3.00
Average 7 8 3
Good 10 2 4
Exceptional 0 0 1
Total 28 15 14
The findings of Table 5a explain the extent to which the participants are committed to follow the content while
writing a pre-test manuscript. The extroverts’ and neurotics mean score 2.96 and 2.80 shows them to be
‘satisfactory’ at content selection, while the introverts’ mean scores, being 3.00, implies an ‘average command’
command on content selection in the pre-test.
Table 5b. Scores of content (post-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 1 3.6 3.89 9 0 4.13 0 0 4.43
Average 7 25.0 4 26.7 1 7.1
Good 14 50.0 5 33.3 6 42.9
Exceptional 6 21.4 6 40.0 7 50.0
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
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The findings of Table 5b explain the extent to which the participants are committed to follow the content while
writing a post-test manuscript. The extroverts’ mean score 3.89 shows them to be ‘good’ at content selection,
while the neurotics’ and introverts’ mean scores, being 4.13 and 4.43 respectively, imply an ‘exceptional’
command on content selection in the post test.
Table 6a. Scores of expression (pre-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 12 2.75 6 2.86 4 2.78
Average 12 5 9
Good 3 4 1
Exceptional 1 0 0
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
Table 6a displays the extent to which the participants’ written expression in the pre-test appeals the reader. Mean
score 2.75 shows the tendency of all groups towards ‘satisfactory’ stage in expression of their feelings and
messages. However, neurotics’ mean scores (2.78) proves them to be a little better than the other two groups at
expressing their ideas in written text.
Table 6b. Scores of expression (post-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 5 17.9 3.46 1 6.7 3.73 0 0 3.93
Average 11 39.3 4 26.7 3 21.4
Good 6 21.4 8 53.3 9 64.3
Exceptional 6 21.4 2 13.3 2 14.3
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
Table 6b displays the extent to which the participants’ written expression appeals the reader. Mean score 3.46
shows the tendency of the extroverts towards ‘average’ stage in expression of their feelings and messages. On
the other hand, neurotics’ and introverts’ mean scores (3.73 and 3.93 respectively) prove them to be ‘good’ at
expressing their ideas in written text.
Table 7a. Overall scores (pre-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 0 0 2.53 0 0 2.53 0 0 2.64
Average 16 57.1 8 53.3 7 50.0
Good 9 32.1 6 40.0 5 35.7
Exceptional 3 10.7 1 6.7 2 14.3
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
Table 7a presents participants’ overall scores in the pre-test of writing skills. The extroverts’, neurotics and
introverts’ mean scores (2.53, 2.53 and 2.64 respectively) indicate that all groups’ overall performance in the
writing skills is of satisfactory level. However, introverts’ performance is a little better in writing skills than that
of the other two groups.
Table 7b. Overall scores (post-test)
Extroverts Neurotics Introverts
Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean Freq Percent Mean
Satisfactory 0 0 2.82 0 0 3.07 0 0 3.21
Average 13 46.4 1 6.7 2 14.3
Good 7 25.0 12 80.0 7 50.0
Exceptional 8 28.6 2 13.3 5 35.7
Total 28 100.0 15 100.0 14 100
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Table 7b explains participants’ overall scores in the post-test of writing skills. The extroverts’ mean scores (2.82)
indicates that their performance in the post-test writing is of satisfactory level. On the other hand, neurotics’ and
introverts’ introverts’ performance in the post test of writing is of average level. Still, introverts’ skill in writing
is a little better than that of neurotics.
4.3 Difference Between Extrovert and Neurotic
After comparing the three personality groups’ mean scores in writing, the differences between each two groups’
proficiency were measured statistically by applying independent samples t-test. The results are produced in
Tables 8-13.
Table 8. Group statistics
Group Statistics
Personality trait of the participants
N
Mean Std. Deviation
Grand Total Extrovert 28 13.7500 3.03834
N
eurotic 15 14.7333 1.90738
Table 9. Independent sample test
Independent Samples Test
Levene’s Test for
Equality of
Variances
t-test for Equality of Mean
F Sig. T Df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean
Difference
Std. Error
Difference
95% Confidence Interval
of the Difference
Lower Upper
Grand
Total
Equal variances
assumed
6.927 .012 -1.136 41 .263 -.98333 .86579 -2.73183 .76516
Equal variances not
assumed
-1.300 39.799 .201 -.98333 .75646 -2.51244 .54578
Tables 8 and 9 show group statistics as well as independent sample t-test. The statistics show that there are 28
participants in the extrovert group and 15 in the neurotic. Mean score is 13.75 and 14.73 respectively for the
extrovert and neurotic groups. In (sig.) column of Table 9, P value is 0.012 which is less than 0.05. Hence, we
have to consider values of the second row (Equal variances not assumed) for analysis. Here, degree of freedom
(Df) is at 39.8 and P value sig. (2-tailed) is at 0.201 that is more than the level 0.05, so the hypothesis
“Extroverts are significantly different from neurotics in linguistic competence in writing” is rejected.
4.4 Difference Between Neurotic and Introvert
Table 10. Group Statistics
Group Statistics
Personality trait of the Participants
N
Mean Std. Deviation
Grand Total
N
eurotic 15 14.7333 1.90738
Introvert 14 15.6429 2.40535
Table 11. Independent sample test
Independent Samples Test
Levene’s Test for
Equality of
Variances
t-test for Equality of Mean
F Sig. T Df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean
Difference
Std. Error
Difference
95% Confidence Interval
of the Difference
Lower Upper
Grand
Total
Equal variances
assumed
.459 .504 -1.132 27 .267 -.90952 .80324 -2.55764 .73859
Equal variances not
assumed
-1.123 24.804 .272 -.90952 .80982 -2.57804 .75900
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Tables 10 and 11 show group statistics as well as Independent Sample t-test. Statistics show that there are 15
participants in the neurotic group and 14 in the introvert. Mean is 14.73 and 15.64 respectively for the neurotic
and introvert groups. In Significance column of Table 11, P value is at 0.459 which is more than 0.05. Hence, we
have to consider values of the first row (Equal variances assumed) for analysis. Here degree of freedom (Df) is at
27 and P value sig. (2-tailed) is at 0.267 that is more than the level 0.05, so the hypothesis “Introverts are
significantly different from neurotics in linguistic competence in writing” is rejected.
4.5 Correlation Between Extrovert and Introvert
Table 12. Group statistics
Group Statistics
Personality Trait of the Participants
N
Mean Std. Deviation
Grand Total Extrovert 28 13.7500 3.03834
Introvert 14 15.6429 2.40535
Table 13. Independent sample test
Independent Samples Test
Levene’s Test for
Equality of
Variances
t-test for Equality of Mean
F Sig. T Df Sig.
(2-tailed)
Mean
Difference
Std. Error
Difference
95% Confidence Interval
of the Difference
Lower Upper
Grand
Total
Equal variances assumed 2.828 .100 -2.030 40 .049 -1.89286 .93226 -3.77702 -.00870
Equal variances not
assumed
-2.196 32.161 .035 -1.89286 .86195 -3.64825 -.13746
Tables 12 and 13 show group statistics as well as independent sample t-test. Statistics show that there are 28
participants in the extrovert group and 14 in the introvert. Mean is 13.75 and 15.64 respectively for the extrovert
and introvert groups. In (sig.) column of Table 13, P value is at 0.100 which is more than 0.05. So, we need to
consider statistics of the first row (Equal variances assumed) for analysis. Here degree of freedom (Df) is at 40
and P value sig. (2-tailed) is at 0.049 that is less than the level 0.05, so the hypothesis “Extroverts are
significantly different from introverts in linguistics competence in writing” is accepted.
5. Findings
The results of the study show that the extrovert learners were found at the average level of vocabulary usage as
well as expression. Their content was good enough but their grammatical competence was only satisfactory.
Neurotic learners’ performance was found to be satisfactory in their grammatical structure, while their usage of
appropriate vocabulary and clear expression were found to be good. Introverts also showed comparatively low
performance in grammar but the other fields like vocabulary, content, and expression were found to be good and
exceptional. Although no major differences were observed in the overall performance of the extrovert, neurotic
and introvert learner groups, the introverts showed a tendency to be more proficient in writing than the
extroverts.
The idea that the extroverts are significantly different from the neurotics in their competence in writing skills
could not be verified because no significant difference was found between extroverts and neurotics in the t-test.
Here neurotics seemed a little better than extroverts in writing. It was seen that the neurotics showed good use of
vocabulary items. Their performance was good in terms of content but weak in grammar. On the other hand, the
extroverts were weak in their choice of vocabulary and grammatical structure but stronger in their expression
and content.
The idea that the introverts are significantly different from the neurotics in their competence in writing skills was
also not confirmed as the findings showed no significant difference between the introverts and the neurotics. The
introverts were weak in grammar but strong in some other aspects such as the choice of vocabulary, expression,
and content. Same was the case with the neurotics. Though there was a little difference between their mean
scores, the p value sig. (2 tailed) 0.459 was more than 0.05. Hence, the idea that the introverts are significantly
different from the neurotics in their competence in writing skill could not be confirmed in the present study.
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The idea that the introverts are significantly different from the extroverts in their competence in writing skills
was positively confirmed in the context of the present study because in the processing of independent sample
t-test, p value sig. (2 tailed) was 0.049 which is below 0.05 showing that the introverts’ scores in writing were
significantly different from that of the extroverts. Major differences were seen in the choice of vocabulary and
grammatical structure, whereas minor difference was seen at the level of content. Overall, the introverts seemed
better in every field.
5.1 Findings Based on Research Questions
The study was based on two research questions:
1) Is there any relationship between the ESL learners’ personality traits and their potential for learning writing
skills at Masters level?
It was found that there is a strong relation between the personality traits of the learners and their potential for
learning writing skills of English as a second language.
2) What type of relationship exists between the intro-extro tendencies of the ESL learners and their performance
in the writing skills at Masters level?
The present study has revealed that a positive relationship exists between introvert personality trait and
proficiency in ESL writing skills i.e. the introverts are better learners of writing skills as compared to the
extroverts.
6. Conclusion
The present study shows that the introverts are better learners in terms of writing skills. It assimilates Eysenck’s
theory that introverts are better language learners due to the fact that they possess “more mental concentration
and can thus focus more on the task at hand” (Van Daele 2005, p. 96). This capability, according to Eysenck
(1974), makes them the prime candidate for successful learning. The results of this study are in agreement with
the Eysenck’s views appeared in 1974. They also stand in line with Premuzic et al.’s (2005), Widyastuti’s (2012)
and Qurat-ul-Ain and Saeed’ (2017) studies which indicated that writing performance is positively affected by
introvert dimension of personality.
However, the results of this study stand contrary to what was found by Brown (2000), Naiman et al. (1978), and
Skehan (1989), who claimed that the extroverts are better language learners since they make more chances to
practice the language by exploiting the external data they are furnished with. The findings are also in
contradiction to Mansourinejad et al.’s (2012), Alavinia and Hassanlou’s (2014), Shokrpour and Moslehi’s (2015)
and Zafar et al.’s (2017) studies which found no relationship between personality type and writing skills.
On the basis of the results obtained from the present study, it can be said that language learning is associated
with the personality traits and that the introverts are better learners of writing skills as compared to the
extroverts.
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This is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
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... Several studies (e.g., Boroujeni et al. 2015;Zafar and Meenakshi 2012;Zainuddin 2016) showed agreement with Baradaran and Alavi's (2015) research findings, concluding that introverted learners are more skillful in writing because they use some conceptual strategies (i.e., reflective, attentive, observant, and autonomous) when they write. On the other hand, other studies (e.g., Alavinia and Hassanlou 2014;Qanwal and Ghani 2019) conducted in similar EFL contexts revealed extroversion and introversion have no significant influence on writing proficiency. Further, previous research (e.g., Alavinia and Hassanlou 2014;Harrington and Loffredo 2010;Hunter 2018;Qanwal and Ghani 2019) explored the relationship between introversion and extroversion communication styles and gender using various tools (e.g., The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and reported no significant relationships between introverts and extroverts and gender indicating that both extroverts and introverts could be skillful in writing skills. ...
... On the other hand, other studies (e.g., Alavinia and Hassanlou 2014;Qanwal and Ghani 2019) conducted in similar EFL contexts revealed extroversion and introversion have no significant influence on writing proficiency. Further, previous research (e.g., Alavinia and Hassanlou 2014;Harrington and Loffredo 2010;Hunter 2018;Qanwal and Ghani 2019) explored the relationship between introversion and extroversion communication styles and gender using various tools (e.g., The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and reported no significant relationships between introverts and extroverts and gender indicating that both extroverts and introverts could be skillful in writing skills. However, as reported by Sun et al. (2020), gender acts as a moderator that affects female students more than males in introversion, which encourages loneliness by aggressive behavior. ...
... The independent-samples t-test indicated no significant gender differences for introversion/extroversion, social presence, or sense of community among the participants within this study. This result is consistent with prior research (e.g., Alavinia and Hassanlou 2014;Harrington and Loffredo 2010;Hunter 2018;Qanwal and Ghani 2019) indicating that both extroverts and introverts could be skillful in their writing skills, and their findings revealed no significant relationships between introverts and extroverts and gender. It is important to note here that there is very little research related to gender differences in online settings. ...
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Understanding the way in which learners differ from one another is of fundamental concern to those involved in second-language acquisition, either as researchers or teachers. This account is the first to review at book length the important research into differences, considering matters such as aptitude, motivation, learner strategies, personality and interaction between learner characteristics and types of instruction.
Book
H. J. Eysenck This book is not an introduction to personality research, it is not a textbook, and above all it is not a model of personality. The title, A Modelfor Personality, was chosen on purpose to indicate that we are here concerned with a discussion of how models in this field ought to be constructed, what their functions were, and whether such models or paradigms could with advantage be produced at this stage of development. One particular aspect of personality, extraversion­ introversion (E), has been chosen to exemplify the desiderata which emerge from such a discussion. It is not suggested that personality and E are synonymous - merely that this particular dimension is perhaps better known than any other, has had more experimental work done on it than any other and has acquired a better theoretical substructure, and more links with genetics and physiology, than any other. Hence it seems most likely to serve as an example of how a satisfactory model of personality might ultimately be constructed, i. e. by analogy with E. Other dimensions of personality, such as neuroticism-stability or psycho tic­ ism-superego functioning, are mentioned in the discussion, but only when they overlap or interrelate with E. The book uses E as an example to illustrate the way in which a model of personality can be constructed, but it is in no way a summary of all that is known about E.
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