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Introverts Give Their Extroverted Colleagues Bad Performance Reviews

Studies of students show that extroverts don’t get rewarded for being outgoing when introverts are judging

(Rob Lewine/Tetra Images/Corbis)
smithsonian.com

The Web is full of tips for introverts worried about navigating the workplace: Here’s how you can get noticed in an "extrovert’s world," "quietly lean in" and figure out how to work with introverts. But where is all the advice for extroverts trying to deal with the judgment of introverts? This is apparently something extroverts should worry about: Two new studies show that introverts regularly give extroverts poorer reviews.

"The magnitude with which introverts underrated performance of extroverts was surprising," Keith Leavitt, an assistant professor in OSU's College of Business and a co-author of the studies, says in a statement. "The results were very consistent across both studies."

Both studies were on groups of students. The first featured MBA students, and the second students in a management program. In the first study, students filled out questionnaires about peer groups they worked with over a semester. Introverted students favored their introverted peers.

In the second study, introverts in the groups gave lower evaluations and smaller bonuses to extroverted electronic team members, even when the performance was exactly the same as introverted electronic team members. The extroversion and introversion traits were conveyed through profiles and comments during an online game. 

The results of both studies were published in a paper in the Academy of Management Journal

Extroverts might want to "use a 'dimmer switch' when interacting with introverted peers," Leavitt suggests. Sorry extroverts, the introverts are just a little too sensitive to your friendly, even boisterous, ways.

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