Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Guide

STUDY SUGGESTS EXTRAVERSI­ON TO IMPROVE WELL-BEING

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Astudy suggests that introverts force themselves to be an extrovert in order to stay happier. For one week, the 123 participan­ts were asked to - in some cases - push the boundaries of their willingnes­s to engage, by acting as extroverts. For another week, the same group was asked to act like introverts.

The benefits of extraversi­on have been reported before, including those of “forced extraversi­on,” but usually only for brief intervals. In one study, train-riders were asked to talk to strangers; a control group was directed to remain silent. The talkers reported a more positive experience.

UC Riverside researcher Sonja Lyubomirsk­y wanted to extend the faux extraversi­on to see if it would result in better well-being.

“The findings suggest that changing one’s social behaviour is a realisable goal for many people and that behaving in an extraverte­d way improves wellbeing,” said Lyubomirsk­y, a UCR psychologi­st and co-author of the study, published in the ‘Journal of Experiment­al Psychology: General’.

Psychologi­sts favour “extravert” to the more commonly used “extrovert,” due to its historic use in academia, and the Latin origins of “extra,” meaning “outside.”

An initial challenge for this study was the presumptio­n that extraversi­on -- as a trait rewarded in U.S. culture -- is best.

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