Do Extroverts Find Life More Rewarding?

by Jessie Roberts

A new study suggests yes:

A key finding is that extraverts reported more happiness than introverts during what the researchers defined as effortful “rewarding” activities, such as sports and exercise, and financially rewarding work tasks. In contrast, there was no difference in extraverts’ and introverts’ happiness during merely low effort, low importance “pleasurable, hedonic” activities, such as watching TV, listening to music, relaxing, and shopping. … Based on the broad pattern that extraverts experience more happiness during rewarding activities, but not during pleasurable activities, the researchers suggested that existing theories should be refined. It’s not that extraverts have a more responsive pleasure system, but rather that they have a more active and responsive “desire system”. …

Even after controlling statistically for the fact that extraverts spend more time with other people and on rewarding activities, there remained a strong relationship between extraversion and happiness.