Monday, July 12, 2010

Shyness Is Not Introversion

I never meant to make it an issue when I began writing this blog, but apparently it's something I feel strongly about. Going through my old blog entries, I've found that I repeat myself a lot on this topic. I often make a point of stating that I'm not shy, and that being introverted does not mean being shy. They're two different things.

Realizing that I keep repeating myself, I try to avoid the subject. But recently I came across an article that illustrates why it bothers me so much.

http://www.livescience.com/health/shy-brain-process-information-differently-100405.html

The article, which is supposedly reporting science, does so in such a non-scientific way as to make everything in it suspect. It not only lumps introversion and shyness together, but it also places all people into just two categories (as if there are only two). I quote:

"Biologists are beginning to agree that within one species there can be two equally successful "personalities."

Really? Is that what biologists agree on? There can only be two successful personalities?

Sigh.

While there might be something to gain from the study itself (also from similar books, such as The Highly Sensitive Person book from a few years back), articles like this are best ignored. Shyness is not introversion, and people who are "sensitive" do not have only one of two successful personalities.

But you decide for yourself.

 

2 comments:

RunsWithSoda said...

Thank you for pointing this out. Evolutionary psychology is completely unscientific. And I'm in the psych field. Introversion, shyness, and social anxiety are still treated like they are the same thing. It is a real problem.

Zeri said...

RunsWithSoda, yes, agreed. It's always easiest to lump similar issues together, I guess.