(4) We live with a value system that I call The Extrovert Ideal - the omnipresent belief that the ideal self is gregarious, alpha and comfortable in the spotlight. The archetypal extrovert prefers action to contemplation, risk-taking to heed-taking, certainty to doubt....We like to think that we value individuality, but all to often we admire one type of individual - the kind who's comfortable "putting himself out there."
(5) But we make a grave mistake to embrace the Extrovert Ideal so unthinkingly. Some of our greatest ideas, arts and inventions, from the theory of evolution to van Gogh's sunflowers to the personal computer - came from quiet and cerebral people who knew how to tune into their inner worlds and the treasures to be found there....
As the science journalist Winifred Gallagher writes: "The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Neither E=mc2 nor Paradise Lost was dashed off by a party animal. "
The Rise of the "Mighty Likeable Fellow"
(30) Early Americans revered action and were suspicious of intellect, associating the life of the mind with the languid, ineffectual European aristocracy they had left behind. The 1828 presidential campaign pitted a former Harvard professor, John Quincy Adams, against Andrew Jackson, a forceful military hero. A Jackson campaign slogan tellingly distinguished the two: "John Quincy Adams who can write / and Andrew Jackson who can fight."
The victor of that campaign? The fighter beat the writer, as the cultural historian Neal Gabler puts it. (John Quincy Adams is considered by political psychologists to be one of the few introverts in presidential history.)
Further down the page.
But the rise of the Culture of Personality intensified such biases, and applied them not only to political and religious leaders, but also to regular people. And though soap manufacturers may have profited from the new emphasis on charm and charisma, not everyone was pleased with this development. "Respect for individual human personality has with us reached its lowest point," observed one intellectual in 1921, "and it is delightfully ironical that no nation is so constantly talking about personality as we are. We actually have schools for 'self-expression' and 'self-development,' although we seem usually to mean the expression and development of the personality of a successful real estate agent."
(73) Quoting the memoir of Steve Wozniak
Most inventors I've met are like me. They're shy and they live in their heads. They're almost like artists. In fact, the very best of them are artists. And artists work best alone where they can control an invention's design without a lot of other people designing it for marketing or some other committee. I don't believe anythin really revolutionary has been invented by committee.
Is Temperament Destiny
On public speaking
(107-108) Public speaking anxiety may be primal and quintessentially human, not limited to those of us born with a high-reactive nervous system. One theory, based on the writings of sociobiologist E.O. Wilson, holds that when our ancestors lived on the savannah, being watched intently meant only one thing: a wild animal was stalking us. And when we think we're about to be eaten, do we stand tall and hold forth confidently? No. We run. In other words, hundreds of thousands of years of evolution urge us to get the hell off the stage, where we can mistake the gaze of the spectators for the glint in a predator's eye. Yet the audience expects not only that we'll stay put, but that we'll act relaxed and assured. This conflict between biology and protocol is one reason that speechmaking can be so fraught. It's also why exhortations to imagine the audience in the nude don't help nervous speakers; naked lions are just as dangerous as elegantly dressed ones.
She spends a lot of time talking about the high-reactive personality which is associated with introversion
(109-110) High-reactive children may be more likely to develop into artists and writers and scientists and thinkers because their aversion to novelty causes them to spend their time inside the familiar - and intellectually fertile - environment of their own heads. "The university is filled with introverts," observes the psychologist Jerry Miller, director of the Center for the Child and the Family at the University of Michigan. "The stereotype of the university professor is accurate for so many people on campus. They like to read; for them there's nothing more exciting than ideas."