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Extroverted and Introverted Status Seekers
13 Nov 2017

How Extroverted and Introverted Status Seekers Differ

This entry is part 9 of 8 in the series Introverts and Extroverts

The need for emotional recognition triggers status seeking. Through status people strive to show their uniqueness, their specialness. Both extroverted and introverted status seekers have this trigger. Its strength and form will differ though.

Different Ways Status Seeking Shows Up

Most often people associate status seeking as overt displays of wealth. It shows up in other more subtle ways too. For instance, take a person who joins a photography club. He then buys expensive equipment far beyond his skill level. It can achieve status where his skill does not.

The same could hold true for a gun owner who doesn’t shoot well or a food enthusiast who doesn’t cook well. Owning a special gun or a top-of-line stove can make up for those shortfalls emotionally.

Finally, status persuades people. In this sense, it serves as a marketing tool. It might mean nothing emotionally. It’s just a pragmatic application of power. Just ask any banker how many times she has seen status seekers with poor financials.

Extroverted and Introverted Status Seekers

As incomes rise the difference in how much extroverted and introverted status seekers spend reduces.

Extroverted and introverted status seekers differ in how much they spend on status items and in what they buy.

Research has shown that sociable, outgoing people care more about their social status than others. This plays to the extrovert. However, wealth plays a role too. As wealth increases the desire to show that status rises too. As a result then, extroverted and introverted status seekers converge in their spending as they become richer.

However, while the amount of their expenditures might equal, their form will differ. Extroverts are more likely to buy status items that reflect what people generally accept as status. Introverts are more likely to buy status items that reflect what moves them, not others.

This most often shows up when we don’t see at first why some item is special. So, whereas the extrovert might just buy the most expensive car she can, the introvert is more likely to spend the same on a car that is very unique in some way such as collectibles have.

Lower End Status Seekers

Conversely though, as we move farther down the income scale, research shows extroverted and introverted status seekers diverging sharply. Extroverts will spend a much higher proportion of income on status items than introverts will. With limited income this could likely show up in targeted ways such as in the examples above with cameras, guns and stoves.

Thus, while the form of status seeking will vary among higher income extroverts and introverts, the amounts spent will be about the same. From upper middle incomes on down though, amounts will differ sharply between extroverted and introverted status seekers.

In short, for most of the population extroverts will spend more on status than introverts will.

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