jeudi, avril 13, 2006

A Tale of Two Tribes

Amygdala: Emotional center, where emotions are attached to actions in the motor area [of the brain].

I have a theory about Introverts and Conservatism, and Extroverts and Liberalism.

You've been taught forever to think that introverts are shy, quiet, reserved, and somehow maladjusted, while extroverts are happy, bright, articulate, and Normal. Am I right?

What if introversion and extroversion are actually very different than that. What if they are not only temperaments, but energetic pathways. What if they are Just Fine The Way They Are, and dependent on unique use of specific neurotransmitters - one going to different places in the brain than the other?

I'm introverted and all my life, people have told me I need to be more outgoing, faster, witty, whatever. Basically asking me to be like everyone else. It was true in childhood, adolescence and teen years, and it's darn tootin true in professional life. In fact, your professional life can pivot squarely on your temperament.

But what if an introvert processes information in a long neural pathway - going through parts of the brain associated with logic and feeling in order to create a 3-D holograph of an idea or answer... as opposed to an extrovert going through a shorter neural pathway and straight to the emotion and the verbalizing of the idea?

I was listening to the Podfather's cast this week with guest Chris of Spottedhorse. Chris said that he believed we are now a country of two tribes. I think he's on to something. And I think in many ways it's chemical, temperamental. Don't get me wrong, it's also educational, cultural, societal and character based and all the other things that cause opinions to be formed, but the extent to which we decide to inform ourselves might depend upon how we are wired.

Here is my premise:

Introverts: Long neural pathway. Uses neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Thoughts travel through the frontal lobe of the brain and have more detail and form. The introvert is not always shy as categorized, but requires time alone in order to recharge and fully formulate and internalize thoughts and information. Is not always quick on the draw with a response - instead - he or she is at the office holding up the economy. Satisfaction with a job well done, a little more time to do something... Contentment. Thought out plans, weighing all options, long term consequences, cerebral and sensitive, logic, Let's Consider The Best Way To Do This, And If We Should Do It.

Extroverts: Short neural pathway. Uses neurotransmitter dopamine. Thoughts travel a shorter path through verbal and emotional centers, gathering and assessing information quickly and attaching thought to emotions. The extrovert must be in social situations in order to recharge - be it parties, copier talk, phone calls or visits. Is almost always very quick on the draw with responses - and is more likely to be the salesman closing the deal, or in other situations - in groups holding protests which are verbal, social, and emotional situations. Exhilarating. Quick on the draw, rules implemented as quick fixes for woes, Feelings, Heart-Centric, throwing cash at the situation, It Will Come From Somewhere - But We Must Do Something.

The Introvert will think it through, but the Extrovert must Do. Planners and Executers. Now if we only had the architects and the unions on the same page, the same blueprint, building the same building for the same purpose. Seems like a stretch nowadays, but you see how they fit together and in fact, have purpose after all.

I think it explains why we mostly see liberals blasting out their opinions right away while it seems like conservatives are keeping the gloves on.

What I am proposing here is not broad based or wide-sweeping or an explanation for all. It's a tale of two tribes, it's a premise of the extremes. It's not science, but it's not rocket science, either.

I've thought about this for quite some time. Would be interested in knowing what other folks think, too.

The info I've learned about introverts and extroverts is based not only on meyers-briggs types of tests (they're okay, I mean...), but other sources such as Marti Laney and other experts on the introvert/extrovert continuum. I however, am not an expert, but I am a blogger. And an INFP. The introverts as conservative and extroverts as liberal however.... is mine all mine ;)


Blogger Aaron said...

The podfather?

Here's the $64,000 question: do you label me an introvert or extrovert?

11:15 PM, avril 13, 2006  
Blogger Phelony Jones said...

You are so the Podfather. You've emailed me on more than one occasion with an offer I can't refuse.

It's too hard to make a guess over the net. Temperment is a fickle beast!

11:19 PM, avril 13, 2006  
Blogger Billiam said...

I am more introvert, but I would say 60/40 with 60 being intro. That may mess up your theory. Of course, I could be the missing link, as most of my friends claim I'm not of this planet. BIG SMILE!

5:15 PM, avril 14, 2006  

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