60-Second Mind

Extroversion Extends Benefits across Cultures

In a study covering five different countries, subjects reported feeling best on the days when they practiced what are considered extroverted actions. Christie Nicholson reports


Smile. It’ll probably make you feel better.
A recent study finds that if you’re extroverted it’s best to continue to be outgoing, on a daily basis. And if you’re an introvert, try a few outgoing behaviors, like calling up an old friend or introducing yourself to someone new at work.
We’ve heard the value of extroverted activity before, but now scientists have confirmed the phenomenon across the globe.
Researchers surveyed students in the U.S., Venezuela, China, the Philippines and Japan. And they measured the students’ personality traits along what’s called the “Big Five”—which is openness, extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness and neuroticism. And they found that the subjects reported feeling best on the days when they practiced what is considered extroverted actions—like talking with more people, smiling more often, calling friends.
The researchers also found that in situations where students felt free to express themselves—as opposed to being constrained in some way—they also felt more extroverted, agreeable and conscientious, three of the big five traits. The study is in the Journal of Research in Personality. [Charles M. Ching et al, The manifestation of traits in everyday behavior and affect: A five-culture study]
The study concludes that even though people may live in disparate cultures, individual and comparable personality types exist in those cultures, no matter where you are. Which is perhaps something to smile about.
—Christie Nicholson
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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