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Jung Typology and Finance: Introversion vs. Extraversion

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One of the most popular personality measurement systems is the “Jung Typology” test, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MTBI) test. These are popular in Psychology 101 college courses and corporate management seminars. The object of this test is to quantify an individual’s personality along four separate dimensions. Each dimension has two options on either end of the spectrum, and most tests provide a measurement of strength in either direction. This results in 16 separate personality types, with additional nuances due to the strength in the pull of either direction.

If you’re interested in determining your personality type, there is a free test at HumanMetrics.com. The test involves a series of questions designed to determine the root of your motivation. The results are best when the questions are answered quickly at face value, without thinking about choosing the “correct” response.

The first of the four personality aspects measures introversion vs. extraversion. Don’t think of this as whether you’re a loner or a social butterfly; the category has more to do with how you draw your energy. This is from the Wikipedia entry:

People with a preference for Extraversion draw energy from action: they tend to act, then reflect, then act further. If they are inactive, their level of energy and motivation tends to decline. Conversely, those whose preference is Introversion become less energized as they act: they prefer to reflect, then act, then reflect again. People with Introversion preferences need time out to reflect in order to rebuild energy. The Introvert’s flow is directed inward toward concepts and ideas and the Extravert’s is directed outward towards people and objects. There are several contrasting characteristics between Extraverts and Introverts: Extraverts desire breadth and are action-oriented, while introverts seek depth and are self-oriented.

Taking a financial viewpoint, which side of this spectrum is better for personal finance? Here are some thoughts.

Introverts may be more inclined to create budgets and analyze progress over time. The “reflect-act-reflect” method can be interpreted as “budget-spend-evaluate.” Introversion can manifest itself in the way an individual sets goals. Do the goals use internal metrics, like a competition with oneself, or do they focus more on parity with the surrounding culture or community? The latter may be the approach taken by an Extravert.

Extraverts thrive on the energy they derive from being around other people, and as a result, may have a more finely honed ability to use “small talk” and network with other people in larger settings. That could lead to better job opportunities and more money in the workplace. However, 40% of CEOs are Introverts or “closet Introverts.” They’ve learned how to act like Extraverts when necessary while retaining their own personality features.

In The Psychology of Money, the author, Adrian Furnham, cites a 1984 study.

[The study] found that extraverts tended to be more extravagant and less stingy than introverts. People with strong feelings of control over their money reported less general anxiety and tended to be more extroverted.

Managing personal money is a skill that is best tended by the introspective nature of an Introvert. While Extraverts can certainly handle the responsibilities just as well, if defined by their personality type, Extraverts will find introspection draining. Does this mean that Introverts tend to be better money managers?

Not all successful CEOs are extroverts [USA Today]

Published or updated February 14, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ryan S

Actually, Jungian typology has three more continuums: Intuitive-Sensing, Thinker-Feeler, Perceptive-Judging. The Extrovert-Introvert spectrum is the most profound, but things might be more complex than saying introverts may be better money handlers. There are many different types of extroverts that are calculated and exacting with all sorts of things, money included. While extroverts may be less deliberative, they might be more goal-oriented.

Anyways, great post! Very interesting.

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avatar AJ

Check out The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,535 (Platinum)

Ryan S: I’m planning to address the other continuums in follow-up posts… I feel they each deserve their own rather than trying to fit all into one blog post.

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avatar AJ

Oops, there was meant to be a link in that comment:

The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

http://www.amazon.com/Introvert-Advantage-Thrive-Extrovert-World/dp/0761123695

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avatar Matt

I can see that an extrovert might have a more challenging time with their money management but the generality is a bit too broad. You mentioned that extroverts tend to make more money and more of them are CEOs which again doesn’t surprise me… so the ideal situation is getting a Extrovert who will drive the business partnered with an introvert who will keep a closer analysis of things.

Which one are you Flexo?

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avatar Adfecto

I am an introvert and I am more comfortable around other introverts.

As for managing money… I think extroverts would feel the itch to trade more frequently and try to make money no matter what the market is doing. Maybe they should be hedge fund guys? Introverts will make good value investors. They analyze the data, make a purchase, and evaluate the performance. Just my $0.02.

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avatar plonkee

Actually I don’t think that introvert/extravert makes that much difference to someone’s success in managing money. I can see how it might change the method, but I think the other continuums would have more effect.

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avatar Lisa

Hi,
This is a neat article. I have a lot of friends that are heavy into Myers-Briggs that I think will enjoy this.

I can’t imagine you’ll mind, so I am putting a link to this article from my website in my next post, which will be entitled “My Week Around the Blogs”. I’m highlighting some posts I’ve enjoyed this week that I think my readers might also enjoy.

Please email me if there is a problem, and I’ll remove the link immediately.

Best,
Lisa

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