Monday, April 29, 2013

Take note of your 4 month old.

So I read this book a few weeks ago about extroverts and introverts...

It took me until about chapter 4 before I started liking it....

That was when I began reading about this study launched in 1989 with 500 four month olds.
This professor was able to predict, after individually spending about 45 minutes with each baby,
which ones would be introverts and which ones would be extroverts later in life.
He had about 60% accuracy only because the other 40% of babies
fell somewhere between the extremes of being an introvert or extrovert.

But it was not what I thought. The placid unreactive babies...
the ones who would just calmly lie there while balloons popped,
or who had colorful mobiles dance before their eyes, etc he predicted would be the extroverts!
(and years later he was proved right). The opposite was true of the introverted babies....
they were the ones who pumped their arms and legs to new sights, sounds, and smells.

Who would have thought! I would have guessed just the opposite.
So there must really be something to the belief by some that
the more difficult babies make for the quieter teenagers.
And not just that, but introverted children (not to be confused with shy.....
(there are shy and non shy introverts)
are more malliable and teachable because they are more sensitive from birth. 
They tend to think deeper and more thoughtful, and are not big risk takers or impulsive....
thus helping them to keep out of trouble more.

What is an introvert?
Perhaps not what you would think. The more you answer yes to any of these statements, the more introverted you are.

I also thought introverts were in the majority. Not so according to this book.
They are only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the population.
Also, did you know there are many introverts who pretend to be extroverts? 

Like I always say, nothing is more interesting than people.

So if you have ever had a 4 month old, was he or she highly reactive?
Did he or she later lean towards the qualities on the list above? Just wondering.


Sue said...

Really interesting. I guess I'm almost an ambivert with a slight lean toward introvert. Who knew??

As for my kids, his theory hasn't really held true. My most extroverted one was also super active as a baby. But maybe he is the exception.

Great post!


Anonymous said...

People call me an extrovert, but I answered yes to most every question. Go figure.

Grandma Honey said...

Darlene~ My guess is you are a non shy introvert. That's what I think I am also. The book really helped me to understand myself better.

Sue~ So this extrovert of yours, was he a calm 4 month old? The study showed these children become more and more extroverted as they got older but they started out as a quiet calm baby. After 4 months old, The next time they studied them they were 2, 4, 7, and 11, etc. They are still following these children who are now actually 24. I wish I could read all the reports. I love studies of people.

grandmapeg said...

I don't know about my babies but I'm definitely an introvert because I answered mostly yes.

Heidi Garvin said...

Nails me and Brett to a T.

He's the introvert, I'm the extrovert.

He played out in the living room and interacted with all the adults.

I played in my bedroom with my door shut and FREAKED OUT if anyone opened it even a crack and saw the game of pretend I had going on.

I don't know how we were at 4 months, but as kids this definitely applied to us.

Grandma Honey said...

Heidi~ I'm confused. Wouldn't the extrovert be the one in the living room with all the adults?

I know you are definitely an extrovert. I always depended on you at the boys' parties to make everyone happy, and you did!

Heidi Garvin said...

I don't know! My mom even put me in the bigger bedroom specifically when we moved to Clovis b/c I was the one who spent the most time holed up playing in my bedroom.

Lisa said...

According to your list, I'm an introvert. Interesting how we can read about everything under the sun!

Grandma Honey said...

Lisa~ I think you have more extrovert in you than introvert. How about your kids?

Anonymous said...

"Non-shy introvert"? Isn't that an oxymoron?
Or do I have to read the book to get it?

Grandma Honey said...

Darlene~ That's what I thought too until I read the book and now it makes perfect sense. For example, I have a friend who is very quiet....she loves to read, she is soft spoken, she needs her alone time everyday, she does not enjoy big gatherings....actually all the things on the list. Yet, she is never fearful at all of speaking up and speaking her mind....has no trouble talking in front of large groups. She is what the book would call a non shy introvert.

Anonymous said...

That's me. You too?