Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Deck (167):
1

They said she was “timid and shy” but had “the courage of a lion.” 215

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Depending on which study you consult, one third to one half of Americans are introverts—in other words, one out of every two or three people you know. 239

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If you’re not an introvert yourself, you are surely raising, managing, married to, or coupled with one. 241

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Velocity of speech counts as well as volume: we rank fast talkers as more competent and likable than slow ones. 258

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research shows that the voluble are considered smarter than the reticent—even though there’s zero correlation between the gift of gab and good ideas. 259

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“I’ve never seen anyone so nice and so tough at the same time,” 345

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in 1921 the influential psychologist Carl Jung had published a bombshell of a book, Psychological Types, popularizing the terms introvert and extrovert as the central building blocks of personality. 354

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Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, said Jung, extroverts to the external life of people and activities. Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves. Introverts recharge their batteries by being alone; extroverts need to recharge when they don’t socialize enough. 355

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introverts and extroverts differ in the level of outside stimulation that they need to function well. 366

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One of the most humane phrases in the English language—“Only connect!”—was written by the distinctly introverted E. M. Forster in a novel exploring the question of how to achieve “human love at its height.” 384

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Shyness is inherently painful; introversion is not. 387

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the shy person is afraid to speak up, while the introvert is simply overstimulated—but 398

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(Finland is a famously introverted nation. Finnish joke: How can you tell if a Finn likes you? He’s staring at your shoes instead of his own.) 433

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Dale’s last name is Carnegie (Carnagey, actually; he changes the spelling later, likely to evoke Andrew, the great industrialist). 490

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Carnegie holds his first class at a YMCA night school on 125th Street in New York City. 492

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The word personality didn’t exist in English until the eighteenth century, and the idea of “having a good personality” was not widespread until the twentieth. 505

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In 1790, only 3 percent of Americans lived in cities; in 1840, only 8 percent did; by 1920, more than a third of the country were urbanites. “We cannot all live in cities,” wrote the news editor Horace Greeley in 1867, “yet nearly all seem determined to do so.” 513

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the new personality-driven ads cast consumers as performers with stage fright from which only the advertiser’s product might rescue them. These ads focused obsessively on the hostile glare of the public spotlight. “ALL AROUND YOU PEOPLE ARE JUDGING YOU SILENTLY,” warned a 1922 ad for Woodbury’s soap. 552

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Men who were too quiet around women risked being thought gay; as a popular 1926 sex guide observed, “homosexuals are invariably timid, shy, retiring.” 577

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1940s that Harvard should reject the “sensitive, neurotic” type and the “intellectually over-stimulated” in favor of boys of the “healthy extrovert kind.” In 1950, Yale’s president, Alfred Whitney Griswold, declared that the ideal Yalie was not a “beetle-browed, highly specialized intellectual, but a well-rounded man.” 618

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the fastest-selling pharmaceutical in American history, according to the social historian Andrea Tone. By 1956 one of every twenty Americans had tried it; by 1960 a third of all prescriptions from U.S. doctors were for Miltown or a similar drug called Equanil. 639

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“John Quincy Adams who can write / And Andrew Jackson who can fight.” The victor of that campaign? The fighter beat the writer, 659

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but everything about him is an exercise in superiority, from the way he occasionally addresses the audience as “girls and boys,” 824

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throughout the seminar, he constantly tries to “upsell” us. 840

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But the thing about Tony—and what draws people to buy his products—is that like any good salesman, he believes in what he’s pitching. 853

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We see salesmanship as a way of sharing one’s gifts with the world. This is why Tony’s zeal to sell to and be adulated by thousands of people at once is seen not as narcissism or hucksterism, but as leadership of the highest order. 862

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If Abraham Lincoln was the embodiment of virtue during the Culture of Character, then Tony Robbins is his counterpart during the Culture of Personality. 864

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an HBS grad, once called the place the “Spiritual Capital of Extroversion.” 886

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The essence of the HBS education is that leaders have to act confidently and make decisions in the face of incomplete information. 916

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“If you’re preparing alone for class, then you’re doing it wrong. Nothing at HBS is intended to be done alone.” 941

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“If you leave HBS without having built an extensive social network, it’s like you failed your HBS experience.” 955

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In the United States, he feels, conversation is about how effective you are at turning your experiences into stories, 959

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a business culture in which verbal fluency and sociability are the two most important predictors of success, according to a Stanford Business School study. 963

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The risk with our students is that they’re very good at getting their way. But that doesn’t mean they’re going the right way.” 1018

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If we assume that quiet and loud people have roughly the same number of good (and bad) ideas, then we should worry if the louder and more forceful people always carry the day. 1020

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In one study, groups of college students were asked to solve math problems together and then to rate one another’s intelligence and judgment. The students who spoke first and most often were consistently given the highest ratings, even though their suggestions (and math SAT scores) were no better than those of the less talkative students. 1027

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The U.S. Army has a name for a similar phenomenon: “the Bus to Abilene.” “Any army officer can tell you what that means,” Colonel (Ret.) Stephen J. Gerras, a professor of behavioral sciences at the U.S. Army War College, told Yale Alumni Magazine in 2008. “It’s about a family sitting on a porch in Texas on a hot summer day, and somebody says, ‘I’m bored. Why don’t we go to Abilene?’ When they get to Abilene, somebody says, ‘You know, I didn’t really want to go.’ And the next person says, ‘I didn’t want to go—I thought you wanted to go,’ and so on. Whenever you’re in an army group and somebody says, ‘I think we’re all getting on the bus to Abilene here,’ that is a red flag. You can stop a conversation with it. It is a very powerful artifact of our culture.” 1035

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we put too much of a premium on presenting and not enough on substance and critical thinking.” 1047

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Brigham Young University management professor Bradley Agle studied the CEOs of 128 major companies and found that those considered charismatic by their top executives had bigger salaries but not better corporate performance. 1064

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“Level 5 Leaders.” These exceptional CEOs were known not for their flash or charisma but for extreme humility coupled with intense professional will. 1074

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We don’t need giant personalities to transform companies. We need leaders who build not their own egos but the institutions they run. 1090

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introverts are uniquely good at leading initiative-takers. Because of their inclination to listen to others and lack of interest in dominating social situations, introverts are more likely to hear and implement suggestions. 1129

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extroverted leaders are better at getting results from more passive workers. 1136

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people followed Moses because his words were thoughtful, not because he spoke them well. 1202

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Roger Horchow, a charming and successful businessman and backer of Broadway hits such as Les Misérables, who “collects people the same way others collect stamps.” “If you sat next to Roger Horchow on a plane ride across the Atlantic,” writes Gladwell, “he would start talking as the plane taxied to the runway, you would be laughing by the time the seatbelt sign was turned off, and when you landed at the other end you’d wonder where the time went.” 1208

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“Connecting people to fix the world over time is the deepest spiritual value you can have,” Newmark has said. 1218

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introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, 1232

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Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture. 1300

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He describes this period of quiet midnights and solitary sunrises as “the biggest high ever.” 1388

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Most inventors and engineers I’ve met are like me—they’re shy and they live in their heads. They’re almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention’s design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don’t believe anything really revolutionary has been invented by committee. 1393

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the more creative people tended to be socially poised introverts. They were interpersonally skilled but “not of an especially sociable or participative temperament.” They described themselves as independent and individualistic. As teens, many had been shy and solitary. 1406

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A recent survey found that 91 percent of high-level managers believe that teams are the key to success. 1436

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The amount of space per employee shrank from 500 square feet in the 1970s to 200 square feet in 2010, according to Peter Miscovich, 1444

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But the two best groups spent most of their music-related time practicing in solitude: 1518

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“Serious study alone” is the strongest predictor of skill for tournament-rated chess players, 1523

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College students who tend to study alone learn more over time than those who work in groups. 1525

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it’s only when you’re alone that you can engage in Deliberate Practice, which he has identified as the key to exceptional achievement. 1528

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Deliberate Practice is best conducted alone for several reasons. It takes intense concentration, and other people can be distracting. It requires deep motivation, often self-generated. But most important, it involves working on the task that’s most challenging to you personally. 1531

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First, he was motivated: 1540

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Second, he built his expertise step by painstaking step. 1542

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I acquired a central ability that was to help me through my entire career: patience. I’m serious. Patience is usually so underrated. 1543

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I learned to not worry so much about the outcome, but to concentrate on the step I was on and to try to do it as perfectly as I could when I was doing it. 1545

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Third, Woz often worked alone. 1547

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Teens who are too gregarious to spend time alone often fail to cultivate their talents “because practicing music or studying math requires a solitude they dread.” Madeleine L’Engle, 1557

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Sixty-two percent of the best performers said that their workspace was acceptably private, compared to only 19 percent of the worst performers; 76 percent of the worst performers but only 38 percent of the top performers said that people often interrupted them needlessly. 1581

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people learn better after a quiet stroll through the woods than after a noisy walk down a city street. 1591

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Scientists now know that the brain is incapable of paying attention to two things at the same time. What looks like multitasking is really switching back and forth between multiple tasks, which reduces productivity and increases mistakes by up to 50 percent. 1594

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Kafka, for example, couldn’t bear to be near even his adoring fiancée while he worked: You once said that you would like to sit beside me while I write. Listen, in that case I could not write at all. For writing means revealing oneself to excess; that utmost of self-revelation and surrender, in which a human being, when involved with others, would feel he was losing himself, and from which, therefore, he will always shrink as long as he is in his right mind.… That is why one can never be alone enough when one writes, why there can never be enough silence around one when one writes, why even night is not night enough. 1613

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Theodor Geisel (otherwise known as Dr. Seuss) spent his workdays ensconced in his private studio, 1619

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If personal space is vital to creativity, so is freedom from “peer pressure.” 1624

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Brainstorming had four rules: 1. Don’t judge or criticize ideas. 2. Be freewheeling. The wilder the idea, the better. 3. Go for quantity. The more ideas you have, the better. 4. Build on the ideas of fellow group members. 1634

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There’s only one problem with Osborn’s breakthrough idea: group brainstorming doesn’t actually work. 1644

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Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing (otherwise known as 3M, 1647

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Studies have shown that performance gets worse as group size increases: 1658

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three explanations for the failure of group brainstorming. The first is social loafing: in a group, some individuals tend to sit back and let others do the work. The second is production blocking: only one person can talk or produce an idea at once, while the other group members are forced to sit passively. And the third is evaluation apprehension, meaning the fear of looking stupid in front of one’s peers. 1673

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But when Asch planted actors in the groups, and the actors confidently volunteered the same incorrect answer, the number of students who gave all correct answers plunged to 25 percent. That is, a staggering 75 percent of the participants went along with the group’s wrong answer to at least one question. 1690

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When the volunteers played the game on their own, they gave the wrong answer only 13.8 percent of the time. But when they played with a group whose members gave unanimously wrong answers, they agreed with the group 41 percent of the time. 1701

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Peer pressure, in other words, is not only unpleasant, but can actually change your view of a problem. 1713

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studies show that face-to-face interactions create trust in a way that online interactions can’t. 1729

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Some people are more certain of everything than I am of anything. —ROBERT RUBIN, In an Uncertain World 1770

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Temperament refers to inborn, biologically based behavioral and emotional patterns that are observable in infancy and early childhood; personality is the complex brew that emerges after cultural influence and personal experience are thrown into the mix. Some say that temperament is the foundation, and personality is the building. 1840

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All kids notice their environments and feel emotions, of course, but high-reactive kids seem to see and feel things more. 1885

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Kagan has given us painstakingly documented evidence that high reactivity is one biological basis of introversion 1891

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It’s as if these physiological tendencies are buried deep in our cultural unconscious. 1898

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Kagan even speculates that some men prefer women with fair skin and blue eyes because they unconsciously code them as sensitive. 1903

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many high-reactives become writers or pick other intellectual vocations where “you’re in charge: you close the door, pull down the shades and do your work. You’re protected from encountering unexpected things.” 1941

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When writers and journalists talk, they want to see a one-to-one relationship—one behavior, one cause. But it’s really important that you see, for behaviors like slow-to-warm-up, shyness, impulsivity, there are many routes to that.” 1947

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when our ancestors lived on the savannah, being watched intently meant only one thing: a wild animal was stalking us. 1957

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hundreds of thousands of years of evolution urge us to get the hell off the stage, where we can mistake the gaze of the spectators for the glint in a predator’s eye. 1959

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in a group of people, on average half of the variability in introversion-extroversion is caused by genetic factors. 1974

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One hundred percent of my introversion might come from genes, or none at all—or more likely some unfathomable combination of genes and experience. To ask whether it’s nature or nurture, says Kagan, is like asking whether a blizzard is caused by temperature or humidity. It’s the intricate interaction between the two that makes us who we are. 1978

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people who inherit certain traits tend to seek out life experiences that reinforce those characteristics. 1983

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“the orchid hypothesis” by David Dobbs 2012

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many children are like dandelions, able to thrive in just about any environment. But others, including the high-reactive types that Kagan studied, are more like orchids: they wilt easily, but under the right conditions can grow strong and magnificent. 2013

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rhesus monkeys, a species that shares about 95 percent of its DNA with humans and has elaborate social structures that resemble our own. 2030

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adolescent girls with the short allele of the SERT gene are 20 percent more likely to be depressed than long-allele girls when exposed to stressful family environments, but 25 percent less likely to be depressed when raised in stable homes. 2043

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High-reactive children raised in supportive environments are even more resistant than other kids to the common cold and other respiratory illnesses, but get sick more easily if they’re raised in stressful conditions. 2048

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Enjoyment appears at the boundary between boredom and anxiety, when the challenges are just balanced with the person’s capacity to act. —MIHALY CSIKSZENTMIHALYI 2072

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the footprint of a high- or low-reactive temperament never disappeared in adulthood. 2115

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we can stretch our personalities, but only up to a point. 2117

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Free will can take us far, suggests Dr. Schwartz’s research, but it cannot carry us infinitely beyond our genetic limits. 2120

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fear of heights, the same thing happens. Repeated trips to the top of the Empire State Building seem to extinguish the fear, but it may come roaring back during times of stress—when the cortex has other things to do than soothe an excitable amygdala. 2139

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it’s not true that I’m no longer shy; I’ve just learned to talk myself down from the ledge (thank you, prefrontal cortex!). By now I do it so automatically that I’m hardly aware it’s happening. 2150

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Hans Eysenck hypothesized that human beings seek “just right” levels of stimulation—not too much and not too little. Stimulation is the amount of input we have coming in from the outside world. 2197

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1967 and still a favorite in-class demonstration in psychology courses, Eysenck placed lemon juice on the tongues of adult introverts and extroverts to find out who salivated more. Sure enough, the introverts, being more aroused by sensory stimuli, were the ones with the watery mouths. 2223

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“There are only a few people out there who can completely overcome their fears, and they all live in Tibet.” 2288

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There is no one more courageous than the person who speaks with the courage of his convictions. 2320

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the summer of 1917, when Eleanor took the children to Maine for the summer, leaving Franklin behind in Washington with Mercer. The two began a lifelong affair. Lucy was just the kind of lively beauty Franklin had been expected to marry in the first place. 2365

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sensitive types think in an unusually complex fashion. 2447

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sensitive people is that sometimes they’re highly empathic. It’s as if they have thinner boundaries separating them from other people’s emotions and from the tragedies and cruelties of the world. 2450

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they can’t help but feel what others feel. 2469

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Eleanor Roosevelt became the first First Lady to hold a press conference, 2487

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2010 University of Michigan study shows that college students today are 40 percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago, with much of the drop having occurred since 2000. 2511

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High-reactive introverts sweat more; low-reactive extroverts sweat less. Their skin is literally “thicker,” more impervious to stimuli, cooler to the touch. In fact, according to some of the scientists I spoke to, this is where our notion of being socially “cool” comes from; the lower-reactive you are, the cooler your skin, the cooler you are. 2526

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When you go to a football game and someone offers you a beer, says the personality psychologist Brian Little, “they’re really saying hi, have a glass of extroversion.” 2543

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Curtis Sittenfeld’s novel Prep, 2545

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blushing is an authentic sign of embarrassment. And embarrassment, according to Keltner, is a moral emotion. It shows humility, modesty, and a desire to avoid aggression and make peace. 2566

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Born to Be Good, Keltner even says that if he had to choose his mate by asking a single question at a speed-dating event, the question he would choose is: “What was your last embarrassing experience?” 2573

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“Embarrassment reveals how much the individual cares about the rules that bind us to one another.” 2576

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In other words, you want to make sure that your spouse cares what other people think. It’s better to mind too much than to mind too little. 2577

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approximately 20 percent of the members of many species are “slow to warm up,” while the other 80 percent are “fast” types who venture forth boldly without noticing much of what’s going on around them. 2602

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“There is no single best … [animal] personality,” writes Wilson, “but rather a diversity of personalities maintained by natural selection.” 2620

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human extroverts have more sex partners than introverts do—a boon to any species wanting to reproduce itself—but they commit more adultery and divorce more frequently, which is not a good thing for the children of all those couplings. 2636

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Extroverts exercise more, but introverts suffer fewer accidents and traumatic injuries. Extroverts enjoy wider networks of social support, but commit more crimes. 2638

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when she speaks to groups of highly sensitive people the room is more hushed and respectful than would be usual in a public gathering place, 2701

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Sensitive people seem to do the reverse. They “enjoy small talk only after they’ve gone deep,” says Strickland. 2713

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A reward-sensitive person is highly motivated to seek rewards—from a promotion to a lottery jackpot to an enjoyable evening out with friends. Reward sensitivity motivates us to pursue goals like sex and money, social status and influence. It prompts us to climb ladders and reach for faraway branches in order to gather life’s choicest fruits. 2777

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Reward sensitivity on overdrive gets people into all kinds of trouble. We can get so excited by the prospect of juicy prizes, like winning big in the stock market, that we take outsized risks and ignore obvious warning signals. 2780

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The old brain and the new brain do work together, but not always efficiently. Sometimes they’re actually in conflict, 2812

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Extroverts, in other words, are characterized by their tendency to seek rewards, from top dog status to sexual highs to cold cash. 2818

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Extroverts’ dopamine pathways appear to be more active than those of introverts. 2836

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By contrast, introverts “have a smaller response” in the reward system, writes psychologist Nettle, “and so go less out of their way to follow up [reward] cues.” 2842

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“like anyone, be drawn from time to time to sex, and parties, and status, but the kick they get will be relatively small, so they are not going to break a leg to get there.” In short, introverts just don’t buzz as easily. 2843

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“A lot of antisocial and self-defeating behavior results from people who amplify positive emotions.” Another disadvantage of buzz may be its connection to risk—sometimes outsized risk. 2854

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people with a variant of a serotonin-regulating gene linked to introversion and sensitivity take 28 percent less financial risk than others. 2871

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study, of sixty-four traders at an investment bank, found that the highest-performing traders tended to be emotionally stable introverts. 2874

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Introverts also seem to be better than extroverts at delaying gratification, a crucial life skill associated with everything from higher SAT scores and income to lower body mass index. 2875

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one thing he’s not shy about is his thesis that it was forceful extroverts who caused the global financial crash. 2904

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The problem is that, on one side, you have a rainmaker who is making lots of money for the company and is treated like a superstar, and on the other side you have an introverted nerd. So who do you think wins?” 2921

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extroverts think less and act faster on such tasks: introverts are “geared to inspect” and extroverts “geared to respond.” 2934

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When introverts hit the number nine button and find they’ve lost a point, they slow down before moving on to the next number, as if to reflect on what went wrong. But extroverts not only fail to slow down, they actually speed up. 2937

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If you force extroverts to pause, says Newman, they’ll do just as well as introverts at the numbers game. But, left to their own devices, they don’t stop. And so they don’t learn to avoid the trouble staring them in the face. 2942

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Introverts, in contrast, are constitutionally programmed to downplay reward—to kill their buzz, you might say—and scan for problems. 2946

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Introverts seem to be specifically wired or trained so when they catch themselves getting excited and focused on a goal, their vigilance increases.” 2949

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Extroverts get better grades than introverts during elementary school, but introverts outperform extroverts in high school and college. 2956

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At the university level, introversion predicts academic performance better than cognitive ability. 2957

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It’s as if extroverts are seeing “what is” while their introverted peers are asking “what if.” 2974

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Introverts sometimes outperform extroverts even on social tasks that require persistence. 2983

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“It’s not that I’m so smart,” said Einstein, who was a consummate introvert. “It’s that I stay with problems longer.” 2993

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This is because anticipating rewards—any rewards, whether or not related to the subject at hand—excites our dopamine-driven reward networks and makes us act more rashly. 3012

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In a state of flow, you’re neither bored nor anxious, and you don’t question your own adequacy. Hours pass without your noticing. 3041

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The key to flow is to pursue an activity for its own sake, not for the rewards it brings. 3042

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So stay true to your own nature. If you like to do things in a slow and steady way, don’t let others make you feel as if you have to race. If you enjoy depth, don’t force yourself to seek breadth. If you prefer single-tasking to multitasking, 3056

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Buffett is known for thinking carefully when those around him lose their heads. “Success in investing doesn’t correlate with IQ,” he has said. “Once you have ordinary intelligence, what you need is the temperament to control the urges that get other people into trouble in investing.” 3110

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Buffett was decidedly not a part of this group. He was an old-school investor who didn’t get caught up in speculative frenzy around companies with unclear earnings prospects. 3123

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He divides the world into people who focus on their own instincts and those who follow the herd. 3135

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says Buffett about his life as an investor, “and there’s the Sistine Chapel, and I’m painting away. I like it when people say, ‘Gee, that’s a pretty good-looking painting.’ But it’s my painting, and when somebody says, ‘Why don’t you use more red instead of blue?’ Good-bye. It’s my painting. And I don’t care what they sell it for. The painting itself will never be finished. That’s one of the great things about it.” 3136

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In a gentle way, you can shake the world. —MAHATMA GANDHI 3145

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quoted a student from a local high school: “If you were Asian, you had to confirm you were smart. If you were white, you had to prove it.” 3164

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‘Oh, in the U.S., as soon as you start talking, you’re fine.’ 3220

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a map of the world drawn by research psychologist Robert McCrae. 3235

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on personality trait levels,” and its shadings of dark and light grays—dark for extroversion, light for introversion—reveal 3237

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Americans are some of the most extroverted people on earth. 3239

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shy and sensitive children are shunned by their peers in Canada but make sought-after playmates in China, where they are also more likely than other children to be considered for leadership roles. 3251

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Chinese children who are sensitive and reticent are said to be dongshi (understanding), a common term of praise. 3253

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Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know. —LAO ZI, The Way of Lao Zi 3266

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Westerners value boldness and verbal skill, traits that promote individuality, while Asians prize quiet, humility, and sensitivity, which foster group cohesion. 3292

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