©Arlene R. Taylor PhD
Studies have identified at factors that combine to influence one’s position on the EAI Continuum. One of these factors is:
Style of Energy Recharging
Extroverts tend to have an external focus. Thus they tend to expend energy freely and refresh themselves by doing something in their outer world. These are the individuals who, at the end of the party, are still looking for another activity before they call it day. They may even have difficulty setting aside time to relax, to reflect, and to give their bodies a rest. Their energy can be drained in an understimulating environment, which is why they usually like to be where the action is. They can focus for short periods of time (e.g., library study) as long as there are frequent breaks, which can actually help them to concentrate.
Introverts tend to have an internal focus. Thus they are energized by their internal world. In general they need to pay attention to the amount of energy a specific activity will require because it can take longer for their energy to be restored, for their internal batteries to be recharged. While they are not necessarily quiet or withdrawn, they tend to refresh themselves by doing something reflective. They may have enjoyed the party but are likely to heave a sigh a relief and be glad it is over. Their energy can be drained in large groups of people, where there are high levels of noise, or where there are frequent interruptions or distractions. They can handle complexity unless it is required in too many arenas simultaneously. When overstimulated, the screen of the introvert’s mind may temporarily go dark (to use a computer metaphor) to allow for processing of what has already been absorbed.
Ambiverts, on the other hand, are believed to have moderate needs to some stimulation and relief from stimulation.
While you can override your innate position on the EAI Continuum, it can impact your energy levels (e.g., expend more energy, require additional time to recharge).
Extroverts (16%) *
|• Spend energy freely||• Spend energy cautiously|
|• Energy is drained in an under-stimulating environment (bored, restless, delinquent)||• Energy is drained in an over-stimulating environment (tired, depressed, sick)|
|• Recharge by interacting with outer world||• Recharge by interacting with the internal world|
|• Need frequent breaks when trying to focus||• Takes longer to restore energy|
* Eysenck Personality Questionnaire. Extraverts/extroverts, according to Eysenck's theory, are chronically under-aroused and bored and are therefore in need of external stimulation to bring them up to an optimal level of performance. About 16 percent of the population tend to fall in this range. Introverts, on the other hand, (also about 16 percent of the population) are chronically over-aroused and jittery and are therefore in need of peace and quiet to bring them up to an optimal level of performance. Most people (about 68 percent of the population) fall in the midrange of the continuum, an area referred to as ambiversion. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eysenck_Personality_Questionnaire) Accessed 12/13.