Quicklet on Marti Olsen Laney's The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World, Taryn Nakamura
Taryn Nakamura

Quicklet on Marti Olsen Laney's The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World

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“We are ripe for a cultural shift toward the okayness of introversion. It’s all right for us to stop trying to fit in and to “shape up”.”

Dr. Marti Olsen Laney started research on introversion after realizing that she was an introvert. In an interview on Synaptic Success, Dr. Laney says that she combined research and her experience with introverted clients, who often had similar characteristics. Dr. Laney found that there were many studies on introversion in other countries, and she began linking these together to show the genetic differences between introverts and extroverts. (Interview with Marti Olsen Laney)

Dr. Laney wrote this book primarily for an audience of introverts. In the Overture to her book, she writes that she wants to help introverts understand themselves and reassure them that they are not alone. However, extroverts may also find the book helpful in understanding their introverted friends and family members. Extroverts may discover and develop the self-reflective qualities of introverts.


Taryn Nakamura was born and raised in Hawaii, where she's recently returned after receiving a B.A. in English at Yale University. As a writing concentrator at Yale, she focused on fiction, but as a Hyperink writer, she's learned that nonfiction can also be fun. In her free time, she likes to run at a walking pace, haunt libraries, and eat pickles.


Temperament has a genetic basis. Jung believed that diversity along the introversion and extroversion continuum had evolutionary advantages because there was balance among types of personalities.

Introverts’ and extroverts’ brains function in different ways. In PET scans, introverts showed more blood flow to their brains. Introverts’ blood traveled a complex pathway to parts of the brain responsible for memory, problem solving, and planning. Extroverts’ blood flowed primarily by a shorter, simpler pathway to areas responsible for sensory processing.

The pathway that extroverts use requires a neurotransmitter called dopamine. The dopamine circuit is a reward circuit and it is related to movement and learning. Extroverts have a low sensitivity to dopamine and need more dopamine to feel good. Extroverts also need adrenaline to make more dopamine…

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