The Hanging Gardens

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This is relevant to my interests!
The brains of shy or introverted individuals might actually process the world differently than their more extroverted counterparts, a new study suggests.

"Individuals with this highly sensitive trait prefer to take longer to make decisions, are more conscientious, need more time to themselves in order to reflect, and are more easily bored with small talk, research suggests.

Previous work has also shown that compared with others those with a highly sensitive temperament are more bothered by noise and crowds, more affected by caffeine, and more easily startled. That is, the trait seems to confer sensitivity all around."

Well. Not to make this all about me, but that sounds familiar. It might be a bit early to go straight to "obviously an inborn trait," seeing as they didn't do any control for the environment people were raised in (or at least so far as I can tell from the blurb without access to the actual article), and I am automatically leery of fMRI data unless analyses of it were rigorously controlled*, but still!

* And I have been ever since I read this one study where they put a dead fish in the fMRI and showed it pictures with different emotional salience. If they didn't use this incredibly stringent control for the statistical analysis - a control that not everybody submitting papers uses - then they found, or "found", that areas in the fish's decomposing brain activated in response to emotionally fraught images. And then there was that other study showing that science students were more likely to trust a paper's findings and overlook glaring methodological flaws if the paper included brain imaging data.

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I'd be interested to see the covariance and other statistical parameters here. I mean, I know I'm an introvert but I also know that I make lightning-fast snap decisions.

I'd really like to see the original article, too. Bard doesn't have access to the journal where it was published, unfortunately, and I'm not seeing the authors' names mentioned, so I can't even look for it through Google Scholars.

Besides, I doubt there are just two "processing phenotypes" running around. Or maybe you're just the offspring of an extroverted risk-taker and an introverted sensitive type? Let's do science to you to find out.

I wonder if they distinguish between being "bored" with small talk and "OH GOD AWKWAAAAAAAARD WHAT DO I SAY WE ALREADY TALKED ABOUT THE WEATHER MAYDAY MAYDAY IT'S BEEN THIRTY SECONDS AND I'VE ALREADY FORGOTTEN THIS PERSON'S NAME HELP HOW DO I DISENGAGE" with small talk. Because the fight-or-flight adrenaline rush I get from small talk is... well, "boring" is not the word I'd use.

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