The language of extraversion: Extraverted people talk more abstractly, introverts are more concrete

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticle


To understand the impact of personality, one needs to know how personality differences manifest themselves in language use. The present study investigates the link between extraversion and language abstraction. Participants' spontaneous verbal utterances in face-to-face interactions were analyzed for language abstraction by applying the linguistic category model, which distinguishes predicate types that convey information in concrete or interpretative manner. We also applied the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) program to relate several word categories to extraversion and language abstraction. Results show significant positive correlations between extraversion and both language abstraction and self-reported level of interpretation. Language abstraction was also linked to LIWC variables (e.g., articles, numbers) previously shown to be related to extraversion. The findings suggest that the verbal style of extraverts is characterized by a higher level of abstract interpretation, whereas introverts tend to stick to concrete facts. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-201
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Early online date5 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Cite this