Was quarantine supposed to break extroverts? Actually, it’s quite the opposite.
While social distancing may have been the ideal situation for introverts, new research suggests that the COVID-19 crisis is breaking down introverts more than extroverts.
Virginia-based research group Greater Divide surveyed 1,000 American adults for its study, according to Forbes. Participants were asked to complete personality tests, including one that measured extroversion. The group also focused on the coronavirus pandemic, specifically asking participants to measure how the health crisis has impacted their mental health.
The survey found that people with higher measures of extroversion were less likely to experience mental health issues due to social distancing, according to the report.
While the findings may come as a surprise, past research has shown that extroverts are more resilient when facing psychological stressors, according to Psychology Today.
Colby College professor Christopher Soto told Forbes its extroverts overall outlook that benefits them in situations like the COVID-19 crisis.
“Compared with introverts, extroverts tend to experience more frequent and intense positive emotions,” Soto told the outlet. “This makes it easier for them to maintain a positive mood in everyday life. It also helps them stay optimistic in the face of difficult circumstances, like the current crisis.”
He also said extrovert’s ability to use social media platforms makes them have a larger online social presence, which has been recommended as an outlet by numerous health experts during the crisis.
“This may make it easier for them to stay socially connected, even while stuck at home during the current crisis.”
Other key findings from the study included extroverts being more compliant to follow social distancing guidelines including being more likely to wear face coverings in public and washing hands frequently.
Michigan State University psychologist Jason Moser said that both introvert and extroverts should find ways to self-talk and meditate during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Both should continue to find ways to stay active and exercise to keep them calm and boost immune functioning,” Moser said. “We are lucky it is spring and we can take advantage of open spaces for activity, as well as take advantage of the fact that open green spaces are calming and psychologically healing.”
Kyle Schnitzer is a staff reporter for Ladders.