©Arlene R. Taylor PhD 

Brief Summary of Some Key Characteristics

eExtroverts 16% *




Introverts 16%i

Extraverts tend to be able to perform in situations that could overwhelm or that would be difficult (if not impossible) for more introverted brains. They are often able to perform better under pressure (e.g., exams, conflict, negotiations, performance).Introverts may perform less well under pressure (e.g., exams, conflict, performance) or even shut down to some degree.
Metaphoric calluses, as it were, protect the brain from being readily hurt or bested in highly stimulating, competitive, or combative situations.Brain has no protective metaphoric callus. May try to shut out additional input in order to process the huge amount of data already inputted.
Tend to be outer-directed. Constantly interact with the environment to obtain the stimulation the brain craves in order to feel alive/alert.Tend to be inner-directed. Can retreat inward almost automatically to evaluate, ponder, and reflect on the data to gain new understanding.

• Tend to have an external focus and become energized by doing something in their outer world. Energy can be drained in an unstimulating environment. May have difficulty setting aside time to rest/reflect/relax.

• Tend to have an internal focus and are energized by their internal world. Energy can be drained in large groups, noisy situations, or highly stimulating or competitive environments. It may take longer to recharge energy levels.
Tend to be less responsive to punishment. They are likely to continue acting in the face of frustration, and may take longer to form conditioned reflexes.Tend to be more sensitive to punishment and negativity. They form conditioned reflexes more easily (e.g., are easier to train).
Because of their constant search for stimulation and variety, extroverts may be at higher risk for delinquency.Because introversion is less rewarded in our society, introverts may be at higher risk for depression.


Extroverts tend to hear sounds as softer than they really are (the action brain reduces the volume as sound data enter the brain) so are more likely to want to crank up the volume. They tend to want variety and can become quickly bored with routine and sameness as in practice and rehearsal. They may prefer performing with or touring with a musical group to obtain additional stimulation.

Being more outer-directed, extroverts may experience lower levels of anxiety prior to or during an actual performance. In addition, if the performance doesn’t meet their expectations they may look to the environment to identify contributing factors rather than focus on what they could do differently in the future.

Males who are extroverted may find it easier to concentrate in both practice and performance situations when the environment contains some distraction.

Females may find it more difficult to concentrate unless the practice and/or performance environment is very quiet.


At the opposite end of the continuum, introverts tend to hear sounds louder than they really are (the action brain amplifies the volume as sound data enter the brain). Consequently, they are more likely to want to turn down the volume or wear earplugs to reduce the intensity of the sound.

Being more inner-directed,  introverts may experience higher levels of anxiety prior to and/or during an actual performance, finding the event somewhat more stressful. They may overprocess their performance, pondering the musical nuances, applications, and outcomes. If the performance doesn’t meet their expectations they are more likely to blame themselves, assuming personal responsibility for everything whether or not that is the case. They may fail to look for a balance in identifying contributing factors outside their immediate control or that might be adjusted for in the future. This can lead to discouragement or even depression.


Ambiverts tend to hear sounds at a relatively unaltered level (e.g., the brain neither significantly reduces nor amplifies sensory data as they enter the brain). They typically exhibit milder characteristics of compared to those seen at the extremes of extroversion and Introversion.


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.