13
$\begingroup$

We all know that extroverts are in general more talkative than introverts in oral form. But how about written communication?

After having talked with lots of people on the internet and met several of them, I have the impression that the most talkative online are the most introverted offline and vice versa.


Half a year after posting this question I've got a personal confirmation from one extrovert I talked to: He told me doesn't like to write much, because he prefers the more 'personal' communication from spoken communication. Another extrovert told me he prefers speaking on the phone rather than writing messages. Introverts, on the other hand, often dislike phones and prefer messages.

So there does indeed seem to be something in my theory, but I need more objective, statistical datas on it.

$\endgroup$
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Introverts can passionately speak, even in front of audiences about topics they care about. Typically an introvert won't go and blog about weather or shoes, so the examples you saw might actually be introverts writing about stuff they care about. Also, such posts are typically altered, rewritten or edited multiple times, in effect you get much more thinking concisely than if you heard it. $\endgroup$ – Alex Stone Nov 21 '14 at 1:32
  • $\begingroup$ What a wonderful question! I am an introvert - I truly despise small talk and never enjoy social occasions (I never go to after-work drinks/dinner) and always work with headphones in so that I can avoid the mind-rot wafting around the office in the form of "how are you?" and "how was your weekend?" I often utter fewer than 500 words per day whilst at work and rush out when it is time to leave. HOWEVER, I am an author and, as you may be able to tell from this post, I enjoy writing very much indeed. In fact, it is something that I am very passionate about. So, for me, the answer is a solid YES! $\endgroup$ – SnookerFan Nov 13 '15 at 14:37
3
$\begingroup$

1. Are extraverts more talkative than introverts in oral communication?

Yes they are. The (probably) best evidence can be found in research by Mehl et al. (2006) who "tracked 96 participants over 2 days using the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR), which samples snippets of ambient sounds in participants’ immediate environments". The correlation of extraversion with word count was .29, indicating that extraversion was related to more talkativeness.

2. Are introverts more talkative in written communication?

It does not seem so. A study that addresses your question has been done by Gill and Oberlander (2002). They asked participants to compose two emails to a good friend. The more extraverted they were, the longer were the emails (beta = .20). Thus, this study was not in line with your intuition that introverts are more talkative in written form. Of course, you may argue that under some circumstances (maybe when writing a diary or a book) your hypothesis may still hold. However, judging from this study, if it exists at all, this does not seem to be a general effect.

There are some differences in writing style and content, however. For example, introverts seem to use a more concrete and focused language (Gill & Oberlander, 2002). Furthermore, introverts tend to use longer words (Mehl et al., 2006) which may be in line with Alex Stone's comment.

References

Gill, A., & Oberlander, J. (2002, August). Taking care of the linguistic features of extraversion. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Fairfax, VA.

Mehl, M. R., Gosling, S. D., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Personality in its natural habitat: Manifestations and implicit folk theories of personality in daily life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 90(5), 862–877. http://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.90.5.862

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

I found a study that says introverts and extroverts are about equally talkative in written form:

"There is little empirical information about differences in computer-mediated communication related to personality. However, it has been widely speculated that introvertive personality traits are especially appropriate for CMC. The results of the present study are consistent with these predictions. Introverted participants sent as many messages as did extraverted participants, and their messages contained more information. As regards gender, males sent longer messages than did females, but their messages did not contain more information."

This study also supports that introverts are more precise in their communication (Gill & Oberlander, 2002).

One might say that introverts are less interested in talking for the sake of it, but they may communicate larger amounts of information. This would further imply that communication, for an extrovert, is more about the social interaction and not as much about giving information.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.