than you imagine. For example, extroversion has many facets: a.
enjoying being with people in a warm, friendly way, b. being a leader
and assertive, c. being venturesome and seeking excitement or
change, d. seeking positive feelings and enthusiasm, e. feeling
ambitious and in control, f. being lively and active, g. being
exhibitionistic and the center of attention, and other characteristics.
See, extroversion is complex. Of course, not every extrovert has all
these facets but, in general, all these characteristics tend to cluster
together in one concept.
Now, what is the glue that holds all these characteristics together
in the trait of extroversion? Most of us would simply say "being socially
outgoing" and wanting to be with people. However, recent researchers
the relationships among the many sub-traits of extroversion, conclude
that extroverts have more "reward sensitivity," i.e. extroverts are
more likely than introverts to approach rewarding or satisfying
situations. Social situations and relationships are often rewarding so
extroverts have more needs to go there and enjoy themselves more
than introverts. The motivation to seek rewards and feel good seems
to explain the complex trait of extroversion better than just the desire
to socialize. Maybe this is a difference that is only important to a
researcher but, at least, it illustrates that personality traits are often
quite complex. Now, the question becomes why some of us have more
"reward sensitivity" than others. Self-understanding and psychology
are seldom simple.
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Understanding the Parts of Our Personality
Parts: Child (id), Parent (superego), Adult (ego)
If we realized the many different parts of our personality, we
should be better able to discover what we are really like inside--what
"makes us tick." Personality theories provide a kind of road map of the
parts of our personality which generate the complex and conflicting
feelings, thoughts, and behaviors we experience. Such theories fill
entire books (e.g. Monte, 1980; Byrne & Kelley, 1981; Mischel, 1981).
I will summarize here only Freud's parts of the personality--id, ego and
superego--and Eric Berne's (1964, 1973) parts--the "child," "adult,"
and "parent." Freud's and Berne's ideas are similar and together they
probably are still the most commonly used theories (Psychoanalysis