Monday, September 28, 2009

Extraversion and type of job: I put together a list of the mean introversion scores of people in various occupations. I included them if they were significantly higher than average ("introverts") and if they were significantly lower ("extraverts"). The sample size is 16,796 (GSS).


Mail clerks, except postal service 16.3
Laundering and dry cleaning machine operators 16.0
Postal clerks, except mail carriers 15.9
Statistical clerks 15.7
Licensed practical nurses 15.7
Typists 15.6
Private household cleaners and servants 15.5
Farmers, except horticultural 15.4
Textile sewing machine operators 15.4
Farm workers 15.3
Maids and housemen 15.3
Librarians 15.3
Bus drivers 15.1
Hand packers and packagers 15.1
Laborers, except construction 15.1
Machine operators, n.s. 15.1
Cooks, except short order 14.9
Assemblers 14.9
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants 14.8
Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks 14.7
Janitors and cleaners 14.7
Registered nurses 14.5
Secretaries 14.3


Designer 13.2
Managers, properties and real estate 13.1
Real estate sales occupations 13.1
Painters, sculptors, craft-artists, and artist printmakers 13.0
Sales occupations, other business services 12.9
Advertising and related sales occupations 12.5
Actors and directors 12.4
Airplane pilots and navigators 12.1
Architects 11.8
Athletes 11.7
Securities and financial services sales occupations 11.4

I don't see any big surprises. Introverts tend to have clerical or low-skill jobs, while extraverts have jobs requiring people skills (sales), leadership skills (managers), or creativity (designers, artists, actors).


  1. Anonymous6:43 AM

    It's somewhat surprising that artists and sculptors tend to be extraverted. One tends to think of artistic types as brooding loners.


  2. It seems that introversion and skills lend themselves to more of a four quadrant distribution.

    I.High skill introverts
    II.Low skill introverts
    III.Low skill extraverts
    IV.High skill extraverts

    I have many introverted friends who are the high skill introvert type. One went into pathology because he didn't want constant contact with patients. Also other researchers, accountants, actuaries. All high skill introverts. I do however think these people could make more money if they were more extroverted.

  3. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Not surprising? It is clearly surprising. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about introversion/extroversion:


    Extroversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self".[7] Extroverts tend to enjoy human interactions and to be enthusiastic, talkative, assertive, and gregarious. They take pleasure in activities that involve large social gatherings, such as parties, community activities, public demonstrations, and business or political groups. Politics, teaching, sales, managing, and brokering are fields that favor extroversion. An extroverted person is likely to enjoy time spent with people and find less reward in time spent alone. They tend to be energized when around other people, and they are more prone to boredom when they are by themselves.


    Introversion is "the state of or tendency toward being wholly or predominantly concerned with and interested in one's own mental life".[7] Introverts tend to be more reserved and less assertive in social situations. They often take pleasure in solitary activities such as reading, writing, drawing, playing musical instruments or using computers. The archetypal artist, writer, sculptor, composer, and inventor are all highly introverted. An introvert is likely to enjoy time spent alone and find less reward in time spent with large groups of people, though they tend to enjoy interactions with close friends. They prefer to concentrate on a single activity at a time and like to observe situations before they participate.[8] Introverts are easily overwhelmed by too much stimulation from social gatherings and engagement. The introvert tends to think thoroughly before verbalising their thoughts.[9]

  4. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Obviously the "sensitive artistic introvert" type exists, though I doubt that it's particularly more common than the "visionary communicative artistic extrovert".
    These aren't particularly what's being captured by the artist category in the GSS though. By and large it is the category of those who do commercial art as a profession. Think those who have the profession of having wrought inner city diversity mural. Think the old Midwestern grandmas who paint generic pictures of kittens. Not actual artists in the romantic sense of the word. It's not that surprising that these people are just about more extroverted than the mean.


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