If you are an introvert, force yourself to be an extravert. You'll be happier.
"The findings suggest that changing one's social behavior is a realizable goal for many people, and that behaving in an extraverted way improves well-being," said Lyubomirsky, a UCR psychologist and co-author of the study, published in the?Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.
An initial challenge for this study was the presumption that extraversion -- as a trait rewarded in US culture -- is best. Many of the adjectives associated with extraversion are more flattering than those tied to introversion. Most people would rather be associated with words like "dynamic" than with words like "withdrawn."
So Lyubomirsky's team went for words agreed upon as most neutral. The adjectives for extraversion were "talkative," "assertive," and "spontaneous"; for introversion, "deliberate," "quiet," and "reserved."
Researchers next told participants -- both the Act Introvert group and the Act Extravert group -- that previous research found each set of behaviors are beneficial for college students.
The researchers suggest that future experiments addressing this question may switch up some variables. The participants were college students, generally more malleable in terms of changing habits. Also, Lyubomirsky said, effects of "faking" extroversion could surface after a longer study period.