My LinkedIn poll completely surprised me
I had a completely biased viewpoint going into this poll. My expectations were aligned with what David Keirsey, author of Please Understand Me, concluded was society’s breakdown of Introverts vs Extraverts, which was 75% Extravert, 25% Introvert. For those that didn’t see my intention, this was my attempt at figuring out which people in my network were I’s and E’s.
However, the results were completely mirrored from what Mr. Keirsey found to be true. 76% Introvert and 24% Extravert?!!
How did this happen?
Some excellent comments need to be highlighted which shed some light on the results, and my errors in the framing of the question.
“Could it be that because you are introverted, the people in your network are also introverted and the results are coming out that way for that reason?”
“I wanted a “both” option, because it depends on how the week went. Sometimes alone time is required, other times, I want to hang out and chat or have a beer.”
“I think it’s dependent on who the other person is. Some people are draining, take your energy without giving any back or they deflect it.“
“It might be good to add another option for extroverts that aren’t social, as what fundamentally recharges them is stimulation that triggers the rewards center of the brain and generates dopamine, that can come from others, but it doesn’t necessarily have to either.”
“I am BOTH. It depends on what type of recharge I need.”
“I am on the I/E bubble. I can recharge alone OR with a close family member/friend.”
“It’s a pretty small sample size. That said, perhaps there’s a bias that more introverted people respond to such written surveys about such things.”
Following in the Jungian spirit, my goal was to force an answer in order to get clear results and weed out the fence-sitters. What happened in reality was an overwhelming call for a 3rd option that centered around being “Both, depending on the situation.”
This reaction makes sense, in that nobody can be completely Introverted or Extraverted unless they are in a deep state of mental illness. What I find interesting about the results is the fact that so many respondents needed to clarify why they chose a certain answer, as if choosing a side was somehow limiting or putting them “in a box.”
(Possible) Errors in my poll
Here are some of the faults in my poll:
- It’s not a representative sample size because my reach is limited to my network
- 199 respondents is not a large enough data set to get an accurate measure on an entire population
- Self-reporting is historically inaccurate
- Introversion vs Extraversion is the hardest dichotomy to force a clear answer
Though this was not a scientifically validated poll, there are takeaways that should be considered relevant on an anecdotal level.
People are dynamic creatures that adapt and change in specific environments and to various stimuli. Thus, trying to force a binary response will be a mixed bag of results, especially when there is not a 3rd option that allows for a “Both, depending on the situation” type answer.
As I mention in my discussions around MBTI and personality, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your Type, and everyone has gifts to share that are highly individualized. Embrace them!
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