Thompson, R. F., & Perlini, A. H. (1998). Feedback and self-efficacy, arousal, and performance of introverts and extraverts. Psychological Reports, 82, 707-716.

Female (N=14) and male (N = 10) introverts, and female (N = 17) and male (N = 7) extraverts, ranging in age from 19 to 47 years, were measured for physiological and subjective arousal. A digi-span task or recalling a series of digits ranging in length from six to nine, was performed as the experimental task. Positive and negative feedback was manipulated after the task. Ss were tested individually.

There was no difference in performance between the groups on digi-span performances before experimental testing. However, using a change score (pre- and posttest difference) introverts performed significantly better than extraverts did. Mean state anxiety scores increased significantly more in the introvert group than in the extravert group. Physiological arousal was not different pre- or posttest between the groups. Positive feedback increased ratings of self-efficacy and negative feedback decreased ratings similarly in both groups. Performances between negative and positive feedback conditions were significantly different. Self-efficacy did not predict a significant amount of variance in the performance changes. Only state anxiety accounted for a significant proportion of the change scores.

Implication. State anxiety, may mediate the self-efficacy and performance relationship, and may underlie performance differences between introverts and extraverts on simple tasks. Analogizing this to sports, well learned and familiar tasks are likely to improve more in introverts than extraverts in competitions as long as state-anxiety can be controlled.

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