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Research Team Finds a Link Between Extroverts and Positive Language


A new study by psychologists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) reveals a correlation between extroverts and their choice of words. The finding suggests that online personality prediction tools need better linguistic indicators to improve digital marketing strategies. Marketing companies have already started working on these tools.

In our modern world, these companies use predictive algorithms to forecast what customers want based on online behaviors. Digital marketing companies also take advantage of online data and machine learning to better understand the psychology behind consumer choices. Of course, this research can provide information on ways to improve targeted advertising.

For example, extroverts may respond better to marketing, which matches their personality. Retailers could appeal to these consumers with a more outgoing creative language. However, the online personality prediction tools used by marketing companies today need some improvement. They lack precision because they only apply in certain situations and applications.

The study’s principal investigator, Associate Professor Lin Qiu from the NTU School of Social Sciences psychology program, said:

“Today’s machine learning algorithms for personality prediction can seem like a black box: there are many linguistic indicators that can be included in their design, but many of them depend on the type of computer application used. This can lead to bias and overfitting, a bug that affects the performance of machine learning algorithms. This begs the question: how should we create strong and accurate personality predictions? “

The research discovered a link between extroverts and your tendency to choose specific types of words. The study revealed that extroverts tended to use more positive language and “social process words.”

How psychologists discovered the correlation between extroverts and word choice

Using text analysis tools, psychologists define positive emotion words as those that represent a pleasant emotional state. Words that describe positivity include “love,” “happy,” “blessed,” “beautiful,” or “nice.” Social process words describe those that contain personal pronouns except “I”. These words also show social intentions or goals, such as “get together,” “share,” and “talk.”

“This is the first time that a relationship has been established between extroverts and their tendency to use the two categories of words. As this is a small correlation, we believe that stronger linguistic indicators are needed to improve machine learning approaches, amid growing interest in these types of tools in consumer marketing, ”said Assoc Prof Qiu.

The research was published in the Journal of Personality Research in December 2020. The NTU team said these findings could help marketers develop better linguistic predictors for machine learning algorithms. This, in turn, will improve the software tools for personality prediction.

How the team carried out the study

Previous studies reviewed by NTU psychologists have found a link between extroversion and choice of specific words. Extroverts they tend to have more positive emotions and enjoy socializing more than introverts. The team positively associated this personality trait with increased use of the words “positive emotion” and “social process”. However, the strength of this correlation varies between studies exploring extraversion and language.

To test the strength of these linguistic predictors, the team reviewed 37 studies on the topic. They classified extroversion using internationally recognized personality type questionnaires. In the future, the NTU team wants to study the relationship between extroverts and other word choices.

Today, machine learning and predictive tools can help companies and marketers in their business endeavors. However, NTU psychologists say the design of these models could be improved. They hope their research will help marketers better understand how certain words can appeal to different personality types. In addition, they hope that the study will produce improvements in the machine learning tools used for personality prediction.

These same tools are also likely to help predict the words introverts use. Of course, most people fall somewhere on the spectrum between introverts and extroverts. Personality can change depending on many factors, and therefore cannot be reduced to a simple choice of words. However, there are certain traits that introverts and extroverts display, which betrays your underlying personality.

Common characteristics of introverts and extroverts

Here are the differences between extroverts and introverts.


  • They have many friends.
  • An extrovert is comfortable talking to almost anyone, even strangers.
  • They love social settings and noisy, energetic places.
  • Extroverts tend to hate being alone for long periods of time.
  • They thrive with other people.
  • Extroverts openly express their concerns and opinions.
  • They can speak before they think.
  • They are outgoing and optimistic.
  • They take more risks than introverts.
  • Extroverts go with the flow.
  • They don’t stop at a decision or a problem.
  • An extrovert loves to be the center of attention.
  • They love meeting people.


  • Enjoy spending time alone.
  • They don’t like to be the center of attention.
  • Introverts prefer a few close friends to many acquaintances.
  • Others may see them as reserved, shy, or distant.
  • They spend a lot of time and effort on their personal relationships.
  • Introverts think before they speak.
  • They gravitate towards calm and peaceful environments with few people.
  • Introverts gain energy by being alone and lose it with others.
  • They can keep their opinions and beliefs to themselves.
  • An introvert may not feel as comfortable taking risks.
  • Introverts are more likely to work from home or independently.
  • They usually wait for someone else to approach them to start a conversation.
  • They think deeply about an issue or decision before acting.

Final thoughts: a team of psychologists finds a link between extroversion and positive language

This does not mean that introverts are inherently harmful; in fact, much more research is needed on this topic. However, a meta-analysis from the NTU team found that, in general, extroverts tend to use more positive language. Your optimism and love of external stimulation may explain your tendency to choose specific words.

In conclusion, the researchers found that they used more “positive emotion words” and “social process words.”

These words describe a pleasant emotional state or show social intentions. Of course, studies on introverted language should also be done for a basis of comparison. However, it is interesting to see how word choice can correlate with personality traits. The team hopes their research will help improve machine learning tools in the future.


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