For a long time people that know me have been telling me they think I may suffer from depression and/or anxiety.  So much so that I began to believe it.  I am still somewhat open to the possibility, but my position on the matter is: so what?  I'm not hurting anyone.  I'm certainly not going to alter my body chemistry just because it doesn't match what is "normal".  Where would evolution have gone if all species could change themselves back to "normal"?

 

Last night I read this article about shyness, introversion, and social anxiety.  It confirmed many of my thoughts on the matter, and got me to research introversion more.  Before, I had been aware of the general idea of introversion/extroversion (never studied psychology that much), but I did not know that it could be such a specific and pervasive behavioral trait.  After much reading I found that on the introvert/extrovert scale, I'm about as introverted as you could possibly get.

 

Anyway, in the article the author references Winifred Gallagher: “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement."  It got me thinking about religion.  Are introverts more likely to analyze the inconsistencies and problems with religion before (or even after) committing to one?  How many atheists are introverts?

 

So, do you consider yourself more introverted than extroverted?  A poll would be awesome, but I don't see an option to add one.

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Growing up I was always very shy and introverted. It was so bad I wouldn't even say hi to a stranger if we were in a room alone.  Now I consider myself both because sometimes I feel like talking to strangers and socializing, and other times I'm really shy.  I guess it just depends on what mood I'm in. I like and agree with your reference by Winifred Gallagher.  Being introverted, I have noticed that you sit back more and observe/ notice things more often then your extroverted peers do.  Maybe they're too busy socializing to realize/ think about the small inconsitiencies in life.  It goes back to the old stereotype of jocks and nerds (which by the way, I don't agree with any stereotype).  Jocks have always been stereotyped as being extroverted, but dumb as dirt.  While nerds, have been stereotyped as smart and introverted.  I did a paper one year for college on Atheist, and I found a study on the comparison of IQs between Atheist and Christians.  In short,  all the atheist in the large study consistently had higher IQs than all the Christians in the study.  If you would like me too, I can find that information for you.
The MBTI test works pretty poorly if you know about the MBTI test. If you do, you immediately answer where you "want" to be and not necessarily where you are. A better measure is analyzing your personal past behavior against the initial measures.

So true. Most psych test fail under this association. Prior knowledge spoils the results.

As a family psychologist, I work extensively with the MBTI. My preferences are for INFP, and it is my observation that most atheists I know of (especially the logical, intelligent ones that like debating and occasionally lack, shall I say, diplomacy!), tend to be NTs — intuitive thinkers. As an NF myself (intuitive feeler), I often feel out of place in this august company because I *am* diplomatic, empathetic, a bit of a people-pleaser, (and with more of a natural inclination towards religion, mysticism and spirituality), and I strive for harmony and finding common ground, above striving for "truth" and "logic".

Concerning the E (extroverted) and I (introverted) dichotomy, I don't find as clear of a split between believers and non-believers.
Thanks for the insight.  If you could point me towards those studies, that would be great!
Didn't see this comprehensive reply before posting. My qualification is only a few introductory courses in IO psych.

Ever tested your intro/extro personality profile?

I'm 20 years old and definitely introverted. Sometimes it gets me thinking about what is acceptable social behavior ("normal" if you will) and why. Is it okay to be introverted, or is it just that extroversion is more acceptable because society rewards sociable people for obvious reasons? I'm not against extroverts or extroversion in general, but sometimes I do wish introversion could be viewed on the same level. I've always been very thoughtful (and hopefully insightful), and I really do think that those qualities helped in my eventual rejection of religion.

I'd have to agree. Much of what is deemed "healthy" and "unhealthy" in psychology seems to be more rooted in anecdotal rationale than anything else.

It's right cos society says it's right. Not because it's better for any other reason. Just because it's what social needs dictates, doesn't mean it's actually improving anything.
Kill all dissenters, is good for society. Be the dissenter's voice is what drives progress.

Social behaviour is extroversion and while that might drive society onwards, introversion is what drives it upwards. Ex/social conformity, is what makes society keep working. Introversion and non conformity is what makes society progress.

INFP over here.

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