It is easy to see that extroverts are generally happy when interacting with others. Now a new study shows that extroverts actually are happier and that this is the case all across the world.
The study, published in the Journal of Research in Personality, corroborates previous studies showing that even introverts have more positive feelings and greater levels of happiness when engaging in extroverted behavior such as talking with friends. In addition, the study confirmed that this is the case for even non-Western cultures.
“We are not the first to show that being more extroverted in daily behavior can lead to more positive moods,” said Timothy Church, lead author of the study and a professor of counseling psychology at Washington State University. “However, we are probably the first to extend this finding to a variety of cultures,”
Church and his colleagues expanded the previous research to look at college students in the U.S., Venezuela, China, the Philippines, and Japan. By looking at the personality traits of the students the study concluded that people report more positive emotions when acting in an extroverted way. In addition, the study found that people are generally happier when in situations where they could control their own behavior.
The study’s authors claim that this new study is the first to show how extroversion is linked to happiness in other cultures. Church has found in previous studies that people in some other countries prize independence and individualism more highly that people in the U.S. Despite these personality differences the results of the new study show a common theme that runs through all of humanity.
“Cross-cultural psychologists like to talk about psychic unity,” said Church. “Despite all of our cultural differences, the way personality is organized seems to be pretty comparable across cultural groups. There is evidence to show that 40 to 50 percent of the variation in personality traits has a genetic basis.”