Introversion and extroversion are different personality types that were the third and fourth division of Carl Jung's original perspective on the psychological types. The two types of psychological types that Jung had come up with based on his research were perception and decision making. These could be further broken down four complete parts but have no relevance to the history of extrovertion and introversion. These two personality types broke Jungs original personalities down further after Katharine Briggs played with Jung's theories for awhile. However, it was Katharine Briggs daughter who came up with the four modes of thought in regards to personality types which are the flow of energy, how we take in information, the way we make decisions, and daily style. These could be divided up by introversion and extroversion as well as by some other means. This history can be found at the Personality Pages with some other resourceful information on personality types.
That being the history of how the two modes of personality came about, what is the definition of introversion and extrovertion? The easiest description of the terms is oversimplified. Introverted means you are a hermit and extrovertion means you are a loud mouth. But that is not the psychological meaning of the terms. The psychological meaning of the terms applies certain behaviors to each type. And it can be said more lightly that an introvert is quiet and thinks before speaking whereas an extravert is very opinionated and stands up very verbally for what they believe in. But this only describes one portion of the behaviors and activities these types may be inclined to do.
To fully describe, it is easiest to make up extreme examples. So for now there is Henry the hermit and Eddy the extravert. Henry loves to read and write. He often spends his time in his bedroom away from people and loud disturbances. He loves to share his thoughts verbally only when absolutely necessary. Henry would prefer to share most of his ideas in writing. He is a great poet and loves to go fishing with a close niche of friends. Henry often avoids parties and will often shy away from large social interactions.
Eddy on the other hand loves to be around people. He has a large range of friends and is constantly making new ones. You can often see Eddy out partying and being really involved in the community. He loves to share his opinions on any topic whether he is an expert on them or not. Eddy loves baseball and basketball because it involves working with others and as a team. He is a delight to be around and often the center of attention in any given situation.
If these examples are not enough to describe the two different personality types the description from Sally Augustin, PhD who writes for Psycholoogy Today describes the types as, “Extraverts are energized by the social and physical environments that surround them. Introverts gather more energy from their own thoughts than they do from things external to themselves. Extraverts focus on the world outside themselves, while introverts are more centered on their own inner world.”