Friday, July 1, 2016

Science and Personality (part 5)

Though our society rewards extroverts while introverts are constantly coaxed into being more outgoing, there is a growing movement that is protesting the trend. The book by Susan Cain, titled, “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking,” asserts that there is nothing wrong with being an introvert. I've known a number of introverts that have read this book and felt vindicated, relieved that there is nothing wrong with them and happy to hear their struggle given voice by Susan Cain. A number of other books are available on the topic, and introverts are finding ways to cope with the expectations of a society structured around extroverts. Yet, if introversion is shown to truly be a genetic disorder—something that can be medically treated—how many of those introverts would gladly give up their shyness for the “normalized” oxycotin levels of an extrovert? Think about the introverts in your life, and how there are introverts that you really like and maybe one you are even in love with. Now try to imagine that person suddenly becoming an extrovert. What if, someday, introversion is considered a condition that must be treated, and medical treatment is mandated to “cure” something previously labeled as a personality trait? What if it is determined that you carry this gene and your children must be genetically altered? It is a disturbing prospect: half of the population of the U.S. might be someday required to undergo a personality change!

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