In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Introversion–Extraversion

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Journals
  • Early History
  • Early Work on the Structure of Basic Personality Traits
  • Evolutionary Approaches
  • Genetics and Heritability
  • Biological Theories of Hans Eysenck and Jeffrey Gray
  • Dopaminergic Functioning and Reward
  • Development
  • Objective Biography
  • Culture

Psychology Introversion–Extraversion
Joshua A. Wilt
  • LAST MODIFIED: 27 October 2022
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0297


Introversion–extraversion, referred to hereby as extraversion, is a personality trait dimension (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article Trait Perspective) within basic personality taxonomies such at the Five-Factor Model of Personality (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article Five-Factor Model of Personality). Historical interest in extraversion dates back to Antiquity, and psychologists have studied this trait since the end of the nineteenth century. As with any personality trait, extraversion encompasses characteristic patterns of affect, behavior, cognition, and desire (or motivation) over time and situations. Highly extraverted individuals tend to be more assertive, sociable, and enthusiastic, whereas people who are more introverted tend to be unassertive, quiet, and less enthusiastic. Extraversion is a robust predictor of life outcomes, such as life events, as well as outcomes in relational, academic, and occupational domains. This bibliography provides an overview of scholarly work on extraversion, organizes this work across a variety of topics, and highlights key references.

General Overviews

These papers introduce extraversion. Collectively, they focus on historical interest, theory, measurement, and empirical research. Haddock and Rutkowski 2014 is the only edited book devoted exclusively to summarizing research on extraversion. The other papers also review research on extraversion, with each emphasizing different theoretical viewpoints. Watson and Clark 1997 advances the theory that positive affect forms the core of extraversion and review research supporting this idea. Zuckerman 2005 focuses on psychobiological theories explaining individual differences in extraversion. Wilt and Revelle 2009 organizes research according to the domains of affect, behavior, cognition, and desire (ABCDs of personality). Wilt and Revelle 2016 organizes research according to the principles of the Five-Factor Model of Personality (see the separate Oxford Bibliographies article Five-Factor Model of Personality).

  • Haddock, Andrea D., and Andrew P. Rutkowski. 2014. Psychology of extraversion. New York: Nova.

    This edited book includes chapters that review contemporary research on extraversion across a wide variety of topics: subjective well-being, stress, mental health, posttraumatic growth, happiness religiosity, physical functioning, work life, academics, and others.

  • Watson, David, and Lee Anna Clark. 1997. Extraversion and its positive emotional core. In Handbook of personality psychology. Edited by Robert Hogan, John Johnson, and Stephen Briggs, 767–793. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

    DOI: 10.1016/B978-012134645-4/50030-5

    This chapter reviews theory and research on extraversion, focusing on structural and taxometric analyses. The authors argue that conceptualizations of extraversion have increasingly centered on positive emotions as defining characteristics.

  • Wilt, Joshua, and William Revelle. 2009. Extraversion. In Handbook of individual differences in social behavior. Edited by Mark Leary and Rick Hoyle, 27–45. New York: Guilford.

    This chapter reviews theory, measurement, and empirical research on extraversion. It presents a framework for organizing extraversion’s correlates according to affective, behavioral, cognitive, and desire (ABCD) domains.

  • Wilt, Joshua, and William Revelle. 2016. Extraversion. In The Oxford handbook of the Five Factor Model. Edited by Thomas A. Widiger, 57–82. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

    This chapter organizes research on extraversion according to the basic principles of the Five-Factor Model of Personality: hierarchical organization, biologically based, developing over time according to intrinsic maturation, manifested in characteristic adaptations, influencing objective biography, reflected in self-concept, and including adaptive and maladaptive variants.

  • Zuckerman, Marvin. 2005. Extraversion/sociability. In Psychobiology of personality. Edited by Marvin Zuckerman, 88–124. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

    This chapter reviews evolving definitions for extraversion and provides a summary and evaluation of psychobiological research on extraversion, focusing on genetics, heritability, neuroanatomy, and psychophysiology.

back to top

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.

How to Subscribe

Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions. For more information or to contact an Oxford Sales Representative click here.