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The introverted chemist May 9, 2008

Posted by fetzthechemist in Careers.

A large proportion of chemists are introverts. This may seem hard to believe if you think getting to science reflects a random sampling of all people, but psychologically people get into professions that tend to match their personalities. One of the more common personality typing tests is the Myers-Briggs. A long series of questions about social, professional, and interpersonal preferences yields 16 different personality types. Chemists are over 60 % one of those 16 and most of the rest differ only in one of the four variables.

So we behave in certain ways. Have you ever noticed how cliquish chemists are at conferences? Once the comfort level is reached with someone, you are very comfortable. Before that you are shy or standoffish. The contrast is stark.

Young chemists need to learn that it is possible to be an extroverted introvert within the science. There is that built-in commonality. Talk science, especially the other person’s science and you’ll get accepted sooner.



1. DeLyle Eastwood - May 13, 2008

I was INTJ or ENTJ but it was the NT part that was off the chart

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