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DUCKWORTH: Freud, all you think about is sex.

*      *      *

DUCKWORTH: I’m Angela Duckworth.

MAUGHAN: I’m Mike Maughan.

DUCKWORTH + MAUGHAN: And you’re listening to No Stupid Questions.

Today on the show: Why does society prefer extroverts — and do we need introverts?

DUCKWORTH: I don’t think you have the same manic level of bounce-around-like-a-bunny-rabbit energy that I sometimes seem to have. 

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MAUGHAN: Angela, today we are talking about extroversion, which is the next trait in the Big Five personality series that we are doing right now, and I’m super excited about this one.

DUCKWORTH: “E is for extroversion! Exclamation point! Exclamation point! Exclamation point!,” she said in a very extroverted way!

MAUGHAN: I did not know that we were reading a children’s book, but I love it.  

DUCKWORTH: Well, Mike, I got a five out of five on extroversion when I took the Big Five personality inventory on our website.

MAUGHAN: I got a 4.67.  

DUCKWORTH: That’s pretty high.  

MAUGHAN: I think that, over time, my extroversion has constricted a little bit, but we’ll get into that.

DUCKWORTH: It’s shrunk? Well, before we forget our listeners — I just looked, and I think it’s, like, over 10,000 listeners, and counting, have taken the Big Five inventory on our website, and so far the mean score is 3.23. And the national average is about 3.21, so just about the same as our listeners. So, I’m super extroverted. You are very, very, very extroverted. Do you think more is better when it comes to extroversion?

MAUGHAN: Well, that, Angela Duckworth, is the question today. This came from Eamon O’Reilly who said, “Why is extroversion considered the normal or desired personality trait and introversion considered abnormal and nonconforming? Is this an American cultural phenomenon?” And I should say that Eamon is based in Oregon, so is asking from an American perspective. So, let me ask you, first and foremost, have you always been — I mean, do you feel like you’ve always been a five? Has your personality on extroversion changed over time at all?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I want to remind you of the items from the inventory, and then I’ll answer the question — you know, what was I like when I was 16, or 26, or 36, or even 46. So, there were a few items that were positively scored. “I am someone who is dominant, acts as a leader. I am someone who’s full of energy. I’m someone who’s outgoing, sociable.” But there were also these reverse-scored items where the more you were like, “Yes, that’s me,” actually you get a lower extroversion score. So, these were, “I’m someone who tends to be quiet. I am someone who prefers to have others take charge.” And finally, “I’m someone who is less active than other people.” But I think I have always been somebody who is, relatively speaking, full of energy, outgoing, sociable, like, when your sixth grade teacher is like, “Well, we need somebody to walk this down to the library,” my hand would shoot up before she had finished the question. I’m not very quiet. So, yeah, I feel like I have long been an extrovert.

MAUGHAN: Yeah. I think that I always defined myself really strongly as an extrovert. I get my energy from being around people. I love connecting. If I’m traveling to other parts of the country or the world, the site I am most interested in seeing is not some museum; it’s the people that I know there. That’s just kind of my M.O. in life. 

DUCKWORTH: You do have so many friends. I remember walking around various places with you, oftentimes conferences, and you can’t get anywhere because people keep stopping you and saying, “Mike!” But I don’t think you have the same manic level of bounce-around-like-a-bunny-rabbit energy that I sometimes seem to have. 

MAUGHAN: But I will say this — this is what has sort of shocked me in the last few years. So much of my life now is entertaining or going to all the — I’m just around people all the time.  

DUCKWORTH: Sports games. 

MAUGHAN: So, yes, sports games. I’m always hosting somebody who’s in town. Whether it’s on the tech side, or the sports side, or the nonprofit side, I’m just constantly around people. And I don’t think I consciously realized this, but one day it hit me — I was at some event and I, for maybe the second time in the space of just a couple hours, had just walked away from everybody and sat, like — I think I went outside by myself because I just needed 10 minutes of non-stimulus, non-conversation, quiet —. 

DUCKWORTH: You needed a moment of introversion.

MAUGHAN: Yeah! And I thought to myself, “Wow, is something changing in me where I used to just thrive on this constantly, and I —  I can’t do it to that level anymore.”

DUCKWORTH: Oh, is that why you said that maybe your extroversion has shrunk a little bit?

MAUGHAN: Yeah, I, I genuinely think so. I crave protecting some alone time that I didn’t used to in the same manner.

DUCKWORTH: Okay. Well, I learned a lot about extroversion in these last few weeks as we were preparing for this personality series, because I already study Big Five conscientiousness and grit, and I’ve done studies on agreeableness, but I had never studied, as a scientist, extroversion. So, when I was doing this background research I learned something I didn’t know before. Have you ever heard of Carl Jung?

MAUGHAN: Ye — Yes.

DUCKWORTH: Maybe everyone’s heard of Carl Ju — I don’t know! Maybe not.

MAUGHAN: No, I don’t think his name is as ubiquitously known as a Freud, or a Darwin, or a just household name yet.

DUCKWORTH: So, Jung was actually a disciple of Sigmund Freud, but he and Freud had a break because, though they were both founders, I guess — maybe Freud originally — of the psychoanalytic tradition, you know, this idea that we’re not consciously aware of our deepest desires and motives. Where they disagreed was that Jung was like, “Freud, all you think about is sex, and that cannot be the entire explanation for everything that we do.” And it’s actually Jung, and not Freud or anyone else, to whom we should give thanks for the very word “extroversion,” because what Jung thought was that there were these archetypes of personality. There were these dualities, and extroversion versus introversion — in his terms, were about whether you were oriented to the outside world, “extra-version,” versus whether you were oriented to your internal world, you know, your memories, your thoughts and so forth. And very much of the kind of thinking in psychology has changed since Freud and Jung, but this thing has proved the test of time. If there is one trait that you could say that around the world people understand that we vary on, extroversion versus introversion is one of them. And I do think it’s about your orientation toward the world versus more of an orientation towards the — well, the inner world.

MAUGHAN: I found one of the most wonderful books ever written about this was Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

DUCKWORTH: Which is a massive bestseller, yes?  

MAUGHAN: Yes, it was a number one New York Times bestseller.

DUCKWORTH: When was that written? It was a while ago.

MAUGHAN: 2012, I believe. But she talks about — and this is what I loved about it so much — she talks about the rise of the “extrovert ideal” and how it’s permeated our culture in a way that, in her words, maybe dramatically undervalues introverts and what introverts have to offer the world. And, she gave an incredible TED Talk on this. She herself is a lawyer, and this is one of the things I love that she said — she said, “I became a Wall Street lawyer, of all things, instead of the writer that I had always longed to be, partly because I needed to prove to myself that I could be bold and assertive, too.”

DUCKWORTH: I should say that I didn’t know Susan when she wrote that book, but I know her now, and she’s not kidding when she says she’s an introvert. But the thing that I think my acquaintance with Susan has taught me is that introverts, like Susan Cain, are not not relationship-oriented. It’s just that when they relate to other people, they don’t necessarily want to do it in quantities and at scales that extroverts are happy with. So, they also want best friends and to share intimacies, but they don’t necessarily have this orientation towards what psychologists call “sociability,” which is just like, many people, many conversations, going out to the bar after the dinner and then maybe another bar after that. So, Susan Cain is a very relationship-oriented person, but I think that’s maybe one of the things that she wanted to correct as a misunderstanding, right? It’s not that introverts are misanthropes.

MAUGHAN: Right, in fact, she — this is one thing that I had not understood before — she talked about the difference between being shy and being an introvert. And she says that shyness is about fear of social judgment, but introversion is about how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation. And to your point, it’s not that introverts don’t want social stimulation. It’s that they value relationships in a more, maybe, intimate way rather than this massive group setting, but it’s not the same as being shy.

DUCKWORTH: Well, let me ask this question of you. I’m going to give you a hypothetical, but I’m going to try to be specific. You’re out to dinner with four people that you haven’t met before, but you had a working meeting. And one of them says at the end of dinner, “Well, this has been amazing. Let’s go find, you know, a place to continue the conversation.” And it’s now 10 o’clock at night. How would you feel in this hypothetical situation? 

MAUGHAN: I would likely want to go home so much. 

DUCKWORTH: Okay, I had this colleague, and I’m going to name him, because if there were a “six” on the five-point scale, Donald Kamentz would be a six out of five on extroversion. That hypothetical situation happened to us for realsies, many times. So, there was a time where Donald and I were co-leading the Character Lab, this nonprofit. And we would have these long workdays with out-of-town collaborators, and we would be at a restaurant and Donald would be so excited to continue the conversation and keep hanging out and, like, “Let’s go to a bar.” And honestly, despite being a five out of five, I just wanted to go to bed and read a book. And so, I think this revealed to me what I imagine is at the heart of this family of personality traits called “extroversion,” — it’s a family that of course includes sociability, but there’s also something about energy in there and positive emotion, which we should get to. But I think one of the telling signs that you’re really extroverted is that the experience of being with people who are not your best, best friends and not your family is energy-giving, not energy-sapping. And I think when you’re very introverted, that exact experience would be so draining you might want to go home even before dessert. But there is this continuum, and then off the continuum is Donald Kamentz.  

MAUGHAN: I will say that I personally — maybe this is just selfishness or, or I just assume people are like me, because that’s how we often are in life. 

DUCKWORTH: Because it’s human nature.  

MAUGHAN: Yeah! But I, I will say this, one of my brothers who is — this is Dave. He’s just incredibly good with people. I feel like I’m good with people, and then I spend some time with Dave, and I just sit there in awe. I’ve seen very few people with his ability to just interact with anybody in any situation and navigate it perfectly, and it’s no surprise why he’s been so successful. We’re talking as a family, and Dave talks about how he’s an introvert. And I thought to myself —. 



DUCKWORTH: Wait, no. Really? Interesting.

MAUGHAN: I just was like, “That doesn’t make any sense.” And he said, “No. I mean, at work, of course, I turn it on. I have to. I do all that. But when I come home,” he’s like, “I just want to read a book, or I want to go watch a show with my wife.” But Dave is not out there socially with a ton of friends. He was a great athlete, played sports in college, but if you ask him to go watch a football game with you and go to a live sporting event, he just, like, doesn’t want to be around people. I had assumed my whole life watching him that he of course was an extrovert just like me. And it wasn’t until I asked the questions and realized. And then, everything started to make more sense. My oldest brother, Peter, said when he read Quiet, Susan Cain’s book — these are his exact words. He said, “It was the first time I understood myself.” Also, one of my dearest friends, John Hyde, who you’ve met. You, I think, called him “the most likable person” you’d ever met.

DUCKWORTH: John Hyde is the most likable person ever.

MAUGHAN: He’s incredible, but I assumed — because we do all these things together — of course, he’s an extrovert, too. And he looked at me one time, he’s like, “Do you know me at all? I’m a massive introvert.” Maybe my human nature — maybe everyone is just, like, “Mike, you’re a little dumber than average. You hang out with all introverts.” I don’t know, but I think it’s really important that we understand this so we can also craft a world and a situation where everybody is comfortable.  

DUCKWORTH: Some of the most important research on extroversion was done by this psychologist named Will Fleeson. And when I tell you what he discovered I think it will make some of these stories about your brothers and your best friend, John, make a little more sense. And I, I really think it’s actually one of the most important things that’s been discovered about personality. What Will Fleeson did, which was very unusual, is that he asked people about their personality traits again, and again, and again, a lot, over the course of a week or two. So, not just answering one personality questionnaire once about on average, in general, like, “Who are you?” But, “How are you right now?” So, for example, I could read you the same exact questions that you and I answered, but you can think about, like, “How have you been in the last hour,” right? Are you being someone who is quiet? Are you being somebody who is preferring to have others take charge? Are you, in contrast, right now, being dominant, acting like a leader, full of energy? Are you, right now, outgoing and sociable?” And what he found was this, like, stunning variability in people’s peaks and valleys in extroversion. And, it turns out, in other personality traits as well. But what it says is that maybe you have a center of gravity where, like, you tend to be a certain way. And that’s why you can answer a personality inventory and you can ask yourself, like, “In general, how am I?” But if you look at things the other way and you say, “How am I different across situations?” Then you also discover that there is an extroverted Mike and there’s an introverted Mike. And even a five out of five like me can think of times where, like, at my house, I’m really quiet. I really am. Like, I don’t do it intentionally, but I, I am the least talkative person in my family of four. But I think this variability that we have within ourselves is endlessly fascinating and possibly maybe even more useful than our overall score. So, if you want to be more extroverted, then you should ask the question, “When am I — where am I — extroverted?” And maybe you want to be a little more introverted. And then you could ask the same question, like, “When am I more introverted? Where am I more introverted?”  

MAUGHAN: I will just say —   the other day I was traveling for work. I was initially in this room with lots of windows and light. I was being incredibly productive. And then, the, you know, hotel staff came in and said, “Hey, we’re going to have your group move down to this other spot.” We moved down to this basement room, and I just suddenly was like, “I’m unproductive here.”

DUCKWORTH: Because of lack of light or because, like — can you put a finger on what it was about the basement?

MAUGHAN: It was a smaller room; lack of light; it just felt, I don’t know, “off.” And I said to my co-worker, “I’m going to leave, and I’m going to go find a coffee shop and work outside for a bit,” because I knew that just the situation would change my productivity so much. And so, I’m learning — I’ve failed many times — but I’m learning to ask the question, not “Am I or am I not?” but “When am I, and when am I not?” and what do I need to change in a situation to really highlight the best parts of me, or the most productive, or the most engaged. And that’s why I love the reframing of the question. Not, “Am I an introvert or extrovert? But, “When am I acting in an introverted way? When am I acting in an extroverted way?” And I would just add, I think we have to be very situationally aware. Because I will admit, again, I made the mistake of assuming so many others were just like me. And to those who are more extroverted and more dominant, it’s about soliciting conversations, soliciting input, and being more intentional about how we involve people and understand those around us. So, I know that Angela and I would love to hear your thoughts on introversion and extroversion. So, record a voice memo in a quiet place with your mouth close to the phone, and email it to, and maybe we’ll play it on a future episode of the show. Also, if you want to learn more about your own personality, head to You can take the Big Five inventory, you’ll get an immediate personality profile, and your results will remain completely anonymous. And if you like the show and want to support it, the best thing you can do is tell a friend about it. You can also spread the word on social media or leave a review in your podcast app. 

Still to come on No Stupid Questions: how does extroversion affect life outcomes?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I like your theory, but — and it’s not really a “but” — .

MAUGHAN: But it’s wrong.  

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Now, back to Mike and Angela’s conversation about extroversion.

MAUGHAN: Angela, you and I recently talked about conscientiousness, which was also one of these Big Five personality traits, and people who rank high in conscientiousness tend to be more successful in a whole lot of different areas. I’d love to get a sense — what does the research show us in what is positively correlated with extroversion versus introversion? 

DUCKWORTH: Well, the funny thing is that I do agree with Eamon’s intuition and Susan’s book about how there does seem to be a bias toward extroverts. It seems like extroversion is good, so “more is more” when it comes to extroversion. But when you look at the scientific research on personality, you do not find consistently better outcomes in life for people who are extroverts, and you don’t find consistently negative outcomes in life for people who are introverts, except for one thing. And that is happiness. I will say there was this experiment that was done reasonably recently by Sonja Lyubomirsky at U.C. Riverside and Seth Margolis. And what they did was they randomly assigned people to basically pretend to be more extroverted or more introverted for a week. The instructions read as follows: “During the next week, we would like you to try to change your behavior. Specifically, for the next seven days, try to act as talkative, assertive, and spontaneous as you can. Previous research has shown that performing these behaviors is beneficial for college students.” They were all undergraduate volunteers. And the instructions for the introverts were exactly the same, except it said, “During the next week, we would like you to try to change your behavior. Specifically, for the next seven days, try to act as deliberate, quiet, and reserved as you can.” And what they found is that, if you were randomly assigned to act like an extrovert, you actually were happier after that week. If you were randomly assigned to act like an introvert, you were lower in measures of well-being after that week. So, that’s the scientific research. Now we can both speculate as to why that is.

MAUGHAN: My speculation would be, on happiness, that extroverts are happier because relationships make us happier. And yet I’m going to caveat that by saying that I wonder if extroverts have more relationships, but introverts maybe have deeper relationships. So, maybe that’s not the reason for the difference in happiness. I’ve worked myself into a loop on that one. May I speculate in one other way?

DUCKWORTH: You may, since nobody knows what the hell is going on. Be my guest.

MAUGHAN: I wonder — again, just going back to what Susan Cain has written on introverts — that if the world is so geared toward extroverts — like, in school. I went to, uh, Northwestern, to Kellogg, for my M.B.A. Kellogg is notorious for group work and doing things together —.  

DUCKWORTH: As are business schools.

MAUGHAN: Yeah, I think most, right? “Collaborative” is, like — tattoo that on every M.B.A. out there, because that’s what every school claims. I wonder if part of it is the world has been structured in such a way to play toward an extrovert. It’s like how there are very few left-handed scissors, and that makes it hard if you’re one of the left handers, you know? 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah, so maybe we are happier if we’re extroverted because the world is built for extroverts, but that didn’t necessarily have to be the case? I don’t know whether, also, this is exactly the same in countries that aren’t studied as much. So, this whole criticism of social science, that it’s all about Western, educated, industrial, rich, democratic countries — the WEIRD countries. Well, there are lots of countries that are not, quote, unquote, “WEIRD.” And I don’t know whether they’re as set up for extroverts, but it’s a good point. I mean, it seems like extroversion is an advantage in, at least, our Western culture.

MAUGHAN: I have another supposition. I’m just going to keep guessing. 

DUCKWORTH: Yeah, go. I love this. Because, Mike, you may be the person who breaks the code on extroversion. 

MAUGHAN: Well, no. Here. Here —.

DUCKWORTH: I’m not kidding!

MAUGHAN: Here’s another reason that I’m thinking it is because there is something really valuable at making sure that your voice is heard and that your needs are met. There’s probably something to be said for acting and not being acted upon, right? Like, being the one who goes out there and says, “Hey, what if we do it this way?” Whereas maybe, if you are introverted and less willing to speak up or, you know, take charge in a situation, you’re more willing to be acted upon, and you don’t voice why you need something different. 

DUCKWORTH: Well, I like your theory, but — and it’s not really a “but” — .

MAUGHAN: But it’s wrong.  

DUCKWORTH: No, no, no. It’s not a “but,” it’s a semicolon. So there is an aspect of extroversion, quite obviously, which is about sociability, right? Social vitality, getting energy from talking to strangers, and being in large groups, and so forth. But there’s also this other aspect of extroversion, which I think you were talking about, which is social dominance. It’s about being an alpha, being a leader. And I want to say to you, because you asked whether your extroversion might be shrinking as you are aging. You know, the data on extroversion over the lifespan is really interesting, because if you look just at social vitality over the lifespan, especially from the end of puberty to the end of life, you find that throughout adulthood, there’s a very gentle decline, actually, in social vitality. You know, Donald Kamentz notwithstanding, but many of us get a little bit more into the good friendships that we already have, less, you know, excited about going out to large parties. {MM^Right.]  So, that’s what social vitality looks like. But social dominance is the opposite. Like, decade over decade, there is an increase, for much of adulthood anyway, in social dominance. So, it’s complicated, and, I don’t know. This is why psychology is so interesting, because we don’t have answers to those questions.

MAUGHAN: This is why we’re all exploring them together. Angela, I want to go, if you will, into the workplace for just a moment and talk about introversion and extroversion there. I was reading an article about something that your dear friend, Adam Grant, did at the University of Pennsylvania that you will know far better than I. He talks about this term, “the ambivert advantage” — ambivert being kind of the —.  

DUCKWORTH: The midpoint or maybe not exactly in the middle, but neither an extreme introvert nor an extreme extrovert. The ambivert, like ambidextrous.

MAUGHAN: Yes. So, he talked about this study of 340 call center employees and found that the workers who made the most sales revenue were people who were neither extroverts nor introverts on either end, but were more in the middle of the extroversion scale. And, in fact, said that there was a bit of a bell curve: the worst performers were workers who were either extreme introverts or extreme extroverts. And so, proposed this idea of the “ambivert advantage” that there’s this natural middle, where you can be engaging with people that you’re selling to, but you’re not so maybe — I’m making this part up now — so extroverted that you’re just talking to people all day and can’t focus on your work or something like that.

DUCKWORTH: Adam has been a big fan of this Aristotelian golden mean idea for many years. And Adam and I have talked about this for many years, because I think Aristotle is often — well, of course, he’s Aristotle, he’s often right.

MAUGHAN: Which is why we still talk about him.  

DUCKWORTH: And in particular this idea that anything to excess can be detrimental is I think — you know, there’s some truth to it, but why is there some truth to it? Well, often — not always by the way, but often there are tradeoffs. And the tradeoff is just optimal at the middle point, or somewhere between the extremes, as opposed to at either pole. And that maybe the best personality strategy would be to understand what the pros and cons are of your tendency toward introversion or extroversion, but, like, the name of the game and the winning strategy is some amount of flexibility, which is why these ambiverts maybe are able to be an introvert when it’s appropriate, able to be an extrovert when it’s appropriate. So, Adam and I like to disagree, because it’s more fun. So, we try to disagree with each other all the time, and then debate each other and then see where we get. But here I think he’s exactly right. And I think it’s not necessarily better to be an extrovert, even though it’s correlated with happiness, and it’s not necessarily better to be an introvert either, but to understand it. I think maybe if we understood it, and then we could be more self-aware and flexible, that, to me, is the prescription. So, Mike, look, we are having an intimate conversation with each other that lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of people we don’t know are going to listen to. Are we having an “extroverted” moment right now? Or is this an introverted moment? What do you think about that? 

MAUGHAN: Oh my gosh, I’m so glad you asked this. I had a moment a few weeks ago. I was at a tennis tournament down in Palm Springs. And I was in the center court and there were 10,000 people there. And I looked around, and I don’t know why, but suddenly I thought about NSQ and this podcast. And to me, this feels like a very kind of introverted moment. You’re one of my dearest friends. I get to show up each week and have these amazing conversations with you. It feels intimate. It feels introverted. But when I sat there in that tennis tournament and looked around at 10,000 people and then thought about the many multiples of that who listen to the podcast, I sort of freaked out. Because I thought to myself, “That’s kind of scary.” This works for me because it feels so intimate, but it’s almost my introverted time, and then I remember that there’s a lot more to it. 

DUCKWORTH: Well, maybe this is why I’m a five. I think that having thousands and thousands of people listen to us is amazing. So maybe I will not remind you that there’s anybody else in this conversation other than us. And I do want to also say this, on behalf of Carl Jung: I think Jung believed that there were these two types, you know, introverts and extroverts — these two orientations to living a life. But I think he saw that they were both essential, because he said, “the one” — and I think he was saying, here, introversion — “takes care of reflection. And the other sees to initiative.” So, you know, the world is a big place, and there’s plenty of room for extroverts, introverts, ambiverts. And even the soul is a big place. And maybe there is a place for our own introverted Angela, extroverted Angela, and ambivert Angela, and the same for Mike Maughan.


And now, here’s a fact-check of today’s conversation:

In the first half of the show, Angela says that Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung considered introversion and extroversion to be “psychological archetypes.” She misspoke here, and likely meant to say psychological types. Jung did believe that part of the collective unconsciousness included “archetypes,” images and themes with universal meaning. But he also had a theory of psychological types including: introversion versus extroversion, sensation versus intuition, thinking versus feeling, and judging versus perceiving. Listeners might be familiar with these dualities as the basis for the Myers-Briggs-Type Indicator — a personality test which most academics do not consider to be psychologically valid.

Finally, Angela notes that social science research has been criticized for focusing on WEIRD countries — or countries that are Western, educated, industrial, rich, and democratic — and she’s not sure whether non-WEIRD countries are better for introverts. Past work on the geographic distribution of Big Five personality traits has concluded that extroversion levels are much lower in East Asia than in other parts of the world. However, research recently published in the journal Scientific Advances found that “commonly used personality questions generally fail to measure the intended personality traits” in many non-WEIRD countries. So, Big Five survey data in these places is often misinterpreted.

That’s it for the fact-check.

Before we wrap today’s show, let’s hear some thoughts about last week’s episode on conscientiousness.

Jessica STRADINGER: Hi, Mike and Angela. My name is Jessica, and I live in Denver, Colorado. I scored fairly low on conscientiousness when I did the Big Five, and it’s not that I don’t want to be more organized or that I don’t value being considered dependable, but about three years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD. Which, if you know anything about ADHD, affects executive functions, and the description of and questions about conscientiousness really center around these particular functions. And for me, even with medication, building and maintaining habits takes a lot of extra effort. However, I’m also someone who can get hyper-focused on things I love. I will try harder than anyone else to achieve something if it affects someone else. And I tend to be a fairly empathetic person. I feel, perhaps, I’m not alone and I wanted to share this perspective because while I did not score high on the survey, I do believe I am conscientious in my own chaotic way. 

Kylie KING:  Hi Mike and Angela, it’s Kylie here, Angela’s soul sister. I will say I submitted that question about grit and conscientiousness about two years ago, so I think it speaks very highly of your conscientiousness to keep that and then respond at the perfect time. I appreciate your discussion of how grit and conscientiousness can be both similar, yet different, and one more point of intersection between myself and Angela: both of our husbands are named Jason, and both of them sorted their Legos by color as children. Thanks for your response. 

That was, respectively, Jessica Stradinger and Kylie King. Thanks to them and to everyone who shared their stories with us. And remember, we’d love to hear your thoughts on introversion versus extroversion. Send a voice memo to, and you might hear your voice on the show!

Coming up next week on No Stupid Questions: Can you be too agreeable?

DUCKWORTH: Oh no! Nice guys really do finish last. 

That’s next week on No Stupid Questions.

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DUCKWORTH: I don’t think Aristotle’s been canceled either. Anyway, let’s keep talking about Aristotle until Aristotle’s canceled.

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