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Psychol Sci. 2015 May;26(5):593-603. doi: 10.1177/0956797615569580. Epub 2015 Apr 2.

Popularity, similarity, and the network extraversion bias.

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Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College.


Using the emergent friendship network of an incoming cohort of students in an M.B.A. program, we examined the role of extraversion in shaping social networks. Extraversion has two important implications for the emergence of network ties: a popularity effect, in which extraverts accumulate more friends than introverts do, and a homophily effect, in which the more similar are two people's levels of extraversion, the more likely they are to become friends. These effects result in a systematic network extraversion bias, in which people's social networks will tend to be overpopulated with extraverts and underpopulated with introverts. Moreover, the most extraverted people have the greatest network extraversion bias, and the most introverted people have the least network extraversion bias. Our finding that social networks were systematically misrepresentative of the broader social environment raises questions about whether there is a societal bias toward believing other people are more extraverted than they actually are and whether introverts are better socially calibrated than extraverts.


extraversion; personality; social judgment; social networks

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