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Outgoing Behavior Makes Human Happy, Research Finds

Update Date: Apr 15, 2014 09:21 AM EDT

Acting extroverted leads to more positive feelings across several cultures, according to a new research. People also report more upbeat behavior when they feel free to be themselves. 

Researchers looked at the behavior and mood in college students in the U.S., Venezuela, China, the Philippines and Japan. With the help of a personality trait survey called "Big Five" researchers found that across the board, participants reported more positive emotions in daily situations where they also felt or even acted more extroverted. 

"We are not the first to show that being more extroverted in daily behavior can lead to more positive moods. However, we are probably the first to extend this finding to a variety of cultures," said Timothy Church, professor of counseling psychology and associate dean of research in the College of Education at Washington State University, in the press release. 

Another finding of the same study revealed that students felt more extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable and open to experience in situations where they would choose their own behavior instead of being constrained by outside pressures.

The study is first to show that these results transcend Western culture and also apply to the more relationship- and group-oriented cultures in Asia and south America. 

"Cross-cultural psychologists like to talk about psychic unity," Church said. "Despite all of our cultural differences, the way personality is organized seems to be pretty comparable across cultural groups. There is evidence to show that 40 to 50 percent of the variation in personality traits has a genetic basis."

The findings in a nutshell suggest that being more extroverted may be one of the many ways to increase happiness levels in most, if not all, cultures. 

The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of Research in Personality. 

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