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Norah_W
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:49 am    Post subject: Is Introversion really Asperger's? Reply with quote

Someone just posted the above article in a social anxiety forum I'm on. It's a few years old now, and when it was written, Asperger's wasn't a household word yet.

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200303/rauch

What do you think he is decribing here, introversion or Asperger's? There are a lot of parallels--try reading the article and subsitutiing "Aspie/Aspergian" for "introvert" and "neurotypical" for "extrovert" and the similarities are really surprising. The different brain wiring, the fact that social situations can be draining for introverts as well as Aspies. The mention that there might be a higher concentration of introverts among "gifted" people. Extroverts think introverts are "loners" or "haughty" or "rude" and don't understand them; introverts also don't understand why extroverts need to talk and socialize so much.

What's the difference between AS and introversion? Will introverted but non-AS kids get misdiagnosed as AS because their parents don't understand introversion and want them to get extensive social skills training, etc. and that's the only way to get it? Not that social skills training would probably be a bad thing for extremely shy or introverted kids even if they're not Aspies.

Someone blogged about this in 2006, and in the comments someone mentioned Asperger's.

http://althouse.blogspot.com/2006/02/on-internet-no-one-knows-youre.html

I wonder if in the future all introverts will be considered to be on the end of the autistic spectrum.

Of course I realize that some Aspies are extroverted, but it does seem like a larger amount of us are introverts.
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stochastic
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A very valuable and insightful post. I suspect that many are on the spectrum and others perhaps because they have learned to dislike others, have had traumatic experiences etc.
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Danielismyname
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No.

Asperger's is just another form of Autism, which is entirely separate from introversion/extroversion. The difference being, those with introversion don't have "severe and sustained impairment in reciprocal social interaction", and "restricted and stereotyped behaviours that severely affect one's life". Introversion is "normal", Asperger's is "abnormal" (a disorder/syndrome).

My mother is an introvert, but she doesn't have Asperger's; my father is an extrovert, and he has [undiagnosed] Asperger's.
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ouinon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

97% of wp members who have taken the Jung-Myers-Briggs typology test, and voted their result into the polls which keep being run, are introvert.

Introversion is not normal actually, only 25% of the population are.

And it is a disadvantage, as numerous self-help books and support/advice groups for introverts attest. In fact some introverts campaign for Introvert rights, claiming that there is systematic discrimination against them in an increasingly extravert world. That extravert noise, constant socialising, etc is making life more and more difficult for introverts, who have little say in how work and learning and social spaces/environments are organised because are in a minority.

Extraverts function best when they receive more external stimulation, which is why they love having TVs and radios on while working, why they love chatting mindlessly while doing other things, and will expect other people to chat to them to keep up this flow of stimulation.

Whereas introverts function best with little external stim because their brain is already more active when doing nothing than an extravert's is.

study
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ouinon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started a thread a while back on exactly the same subject at

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt47338.html

but which foundered because a small minority of AS protested that they would love to socialise lots etc, adore noise and activity a la extravert, and/or that introversion tests do not distinguish between capacity and desire.

I think that the term introvert is "too dull" nowadays to interest most people. Aspergers is way more exciting/up to date. Rolling Eyes 100 years ago introversion had a much more pathological meaning. It was seen as a serious psychological flaw/weakness.

And obviously 25% of the population are not on the autistic spectrum .. .. ..

study
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Deus_ex_machina
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe that Aspergers correlates with introversion, but that introversion does not correlate with Asperger's. That is to say, a high number of Aspies might be introverted but that does not mean that a high number of introverts are Autistic.

Another way to put it is that although Autism might cause or help introversion, introversion does not create Autism, because it is genetic.

On the other hand, I don't actually subscribe to the Jungian psychology thing.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

like your signature deus....

adrian borland reincarnate?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

People can be introverted for any number of understandable reasons - being abused/shamed as a child, picked on in school, etc. It happens to some Aspies (well, a LOT of Aspies) because we tend to get picked on relentlessly by our peers, forcing most of us to withdraw. As Daniel said, not all Aspies are introverted, and not all introverts are Aspie.
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ouinon
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainstorm5 wrote:
Daniel said, not all Aspies are introverted.

Not all of them, no, just 97% of those more than 200 wp-members who took the Myers-Briggs Jungian Typology Test last autumn and voted in the poll ... ... ... Rolling Eyes

study
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rainstorm5 wrote:
People can be introverted for any number of understandable reasons - being abused/shamed as a child, picked on in school, etc. It happens to some Aspies (well, a LOT of Aspies) because we tend to get picked on relentlessly by our peers, forcing most of us to withdraw. As Daniel said, not all Aspies are introverted, and not all introverts are Aspie.


Being introverted has nothing to do with being picked on (except that in some places introverts are picked on). Introversion is a heritable personality trait - the one most widely accepted in psychology. There's an Extraversion scale in both the big three and big five personality inventories. It has to do with how much stimulation people can handle, and people naturally range from lots to little, with more people at the "lots" end of the range.

Also, WH Sheldon, the body type guy, noted that people high in endomorphy tend to be socially outgoing (hence the happy fat person stereotype), people high in mesomorphy tend to be physically outgoing, and people high in ectomorphy tend to be more cerebral.

I noticed when I went to Europe in my teens that Europe is a lot more introverted than North America, or at least more subdued. North America is very brash, and North Americans score higher on extraversion. So I suspect introverts have a harder time in NA than in EU.

Autism is probably different from introversion, although introverted autists will have both sets of problems.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: Is Introversion really Asperger's? Reply with quote

Norah_W wrote:
What's the difference between AS and introversion?


Introversion can be learned behavior. AS is not learned.
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Woodpeace
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are definitions of introversion, introvert and introverted from the Oxford English Dictionary (2nd edition 1989):

Introversion:
Quote:
1.a. The action of turning the thoughts inwards, i.e. to one's own mind or soul, or to the contemplation of spiritual things.

b. The tendency to turn psychic energy inwards and to withdraw from the external world.


Introvert:
Quote:
A person characterized by introversion; a withdrawn or reserved person.
.

A citation is given from the British Journal of Psychology dated 26 July 1934:
Quote:
They were noticeably more introvert, schizoid and desurgent in temperament.


Introverted:
Quote:
Of the mind or thought: Directed inwards upon itself, or upon that which is inward or spiritual. [..] of a person: Given to introversion of mind.


Citations are given from Collected Papers of Analytical Psychology by C.G. Jung, translated by C. E. Long, 1916:
Quote:
The introverted type is characterised by the fact that his libido is turned towards his own personality to a certain extent.

and from Critical Dictionary of Psychoanalysis by C. Rycroft, 1968:
Quote:
There is a tendency to equate 'introverted' with 'withdrawn' or 'schizoid'.


Before autism and Asperger syndrome became widely given diagnoses, it is very likely that some autistics and Aspies were regarded as just being very introverted.
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Norah_W
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ouinon wrote:
I started a thread a while back on exactly the same subject at

http://www.wrongplanet.net/postt47338.html

but which foundered because a small minority of AS protested that they would love to socialise lots etc, adore noise and activity a la extravert, and/or that introversion tests do not distinguish between capacity and desire.

I think that the term introvert is "too dull" nowadays to interest most people. Aspergers is way more exciting/up to date. Rolling Eyes 100 years ago introversion had a much more pathological meaning. It was seen as a serious psychological flaw/weakness.

And obviously 25% of the population are not on the autistic spectrum .. .. ..

study



I notice someone brought your thread to the forefront--cool. I wish I would have looked around a little more before posting and found it Anyway, I hear you about the term "introvert" being dull or not topical enough now. I remember when it was a big deal though--about 40 years ago when I was about 11 I read the term and thought it sounded like me. I mentioned it to my dad, who was a lot older and had probably studied a little psychology in college in the early 1930's, and he did not think it was a good thing for me to say about myself, not because it wasn't true but because of the negative connotations it apparently had to him. It was almost as if I'd said I thought I was schizophrenic! ==I don't know if that was just him though, or if others felt the same about the term. Like I said, he was a lot older than me--when I was 11 he was about 57.

I probably never mentioned being an introvert again until years later when apparently the term "introvert" had lost its negative meaning or shock value, and I was with people who were talking about whether they were introverted or extroverted--by then it was just another thing like being left-handed or right-handed, or having attached or unattached earlobes. (This may have happened in my own college Psych 101 class, come to think of it.) No one was really shocked when I said I was an introvert, or thought there was anything bad or weird about it--I remember over the years though that some people I'd never have thought were introverts think of themselves that way. They've learned to seem extroverted to fit in or succeed at certain types of jobs.

This is probably a cultural thing too--I live in the U.S. where extroversion is valued more highly than introversion. I'm wondering if maybe in some other cultures that might not be the case?
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Norah_W
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deus_ex_machina wrote:
I believe that Aspergers correlates with introversion, but that introversion does not correlate with Asperger's. That is to say, a high number of Aspies might be introverted but that does not mean that a high number of introverts are Autistic.

Another way to put it is that although Autism might cause or help introversion, introversion does not create Autism, because it is genetic.

On the other hand, I don't actually subscribe to the Jungian psychology thing.


Introversion is probably genetic though, to a certain degree anyway, though certainly life circumstances can make someone more introverted. Even some people who have been able to learn to seem like extroverts will still identify themselves as being basically introverted, needing more time alone than extroverts.

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Edited to say: I wrote this before reading Anemone's post, who said the same thing but much better than I did! I hate to just delete my post though because I'm afraid someone will think I wrote something obnoxious in it or something.
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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a child with AS I was not really introverted. I was awkward. I wanted friends, wanted to play with other kids but they thought I was "weird" or "slow" and rejected me.
If I would have been "slow" like they believed, I would have had something besides AS. But since I had the high IQ my awkwardness and the way I seemed "slow" to them couldn't be blamed on actually being "slow".
I lacked the social skills, I did stimming and I obsessed on one thing. I was in a world of my own quite often thinking about what I wanted to think about and trying to draw what I was thinking about.
Now, however, I am much more introverted than I was. I wasn't diagnosed as a child because no one knew what Asperger's was. ADHD was what the experts liked to diagnose kids who were intelligent yet didn't do well socially or who were eccentric, or were stubborn and wanted to study one thing in particular, not all the school subjects. This is what happened to me. I just wanted to study one subject and if whatever was being learned wasn't that one subject, in my case horses, I wasn't very interested in paying attention.
It was a really confusing time for me. My mother, who thought I was one of the most brilliant kids on earth and yet was bewildered and often angry about my behaviour, would tell me how smart I was and then at school I got to hear kids say I was nothing but stupid. Or worse, I don't want to be too graphic and offend people. I got a bunch of mixed messages.


Last edited by ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo on Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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