Extravert get higher scores on IQ tests, a study finds.
People who are outgoing, talkative and energetic perform better on tests of verbal and abstract reasoning, psychologists found.
Extraverts are generally self-confident and cheerful and can also be impulsive, sensation-seekers.
The conclusions come from a study that tested the effects of background music on how people perform on IQ tests.
The study also revealed that extraverts are better at dealing with noisy conditions when carrying out intellectual tasks.
Introverts find background noise and music much more distracting.
For the study, 118 people took IQ tests, sometimes in silence and other times with background noise.
The background noise was either music or simulated office noise.
The results showed that extraverts got higher scores on the IQ tests, whether it was noisy or not.
However, everyone tended to perform better on the test in silence.
So, background noise generally made everyone’s performance worse.
The worst type of noise for performance was the simulated office noise.
Still, extraverts coped much better on the tests in noisy conditions than introverts.
The study’s authors write:
“This study found a positive correlation between extraversion and IQ, suggesting the relationship between intelligence and extraversion may be a bit more complex than it appears at first sight.[…]
…extraversion and introversion are intimately associated with different intellectual styles and intelligence profiles.
Introverts were found to perform relatively better on verbal tests, and extraverts on performance tests.”
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
The study was published in the journal Applied Cognitive Psychology (Dobbs et al., 2011).