Customer Review

30 of 39 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A balm to those who are introverted and/or anxious, 5 Jun. 2013
This review is from: Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking (Kindle Edition)
I'm a psychologist so was interested to read this book to see if the author represents the known literature on introversion/extraversion well.

First the positives about this book. I have to say that this book is extremely well-written and enjoyable to read. Cain writes extremely well and I sped through the book.

I also think this book will be a balm to those of a more introverted disposition - those who see themselves as quiet, shy, deep-rather-than-shallow types.

Unfortunately, Cain conflates introversion with anxiety. So she assumes that introverts are often anxious. However, modern so-called '5-factor' models of personality distinguish between introversion/extraversion and stability/neuroticism. So that means that it's possible to get introverts who are calm and stable as well as extraverts who are neurotic and anxious.

In fact, Cain throws in so many overlapping topics in a confusing way that I found myself disagreeing with a lot of her arguments and conclusions. I didn't feel that her understanding of the peer review research was that strong. For example, she argues that introverts are more likely to experience guilt and therefore have stronger consciences. But the studies that she cites to back up her assertions simply do not allow her to make such claims!

I don't think Cain mixes up concepts deliberately. My personal opinion is that she includes too many traits and characteristics under the umbrella of introversion because that's her own personal experience and she wanted to write a book that was as helpful to readers as possible.

While the book will certainly make introverts feel better about themselves, I think it's a shame that many of her claims just can't be supported by psychological research.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2013 16:05:39 GMT
Last edited by the author on 29 Nov 2013 16:11:30 GMT
Simpleton says:
I find it quite amusing that you felt the need to add your occupation at the beginning of your review to add more credibility to your observations! While, I do realise the importance of alternate views and disagreements in scientific debates, I am a bit confused about whether you are giving a professional opinion or a personal one in your review! To me you come across as an extrovert and this book probably dilutes, in the eyes of general public, some of the high esteem of glorified outgoing types a little!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2014 21:34:14 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Jun 2014 21:35:28 BDT
Al James says:
I agree entirely with you 'simpleton' (I bet you're not really simple!). Our psychologist reviewer misses the point entirely. I don't doubt the accuracy of his observations from a psychological point of view, but Susan Cain is not writing an academic tome. She is writing from the inside, and as an introvert myself - quite an extreme one actually, although I have, like Susan held a leadership post for many years - I found this book incredibly helpful in understanding why a personality trait I secretly value also made me feel guilty when I avoided invitations to social events on a regular basis (and still do). The other reviews suggest there are a great many of us who did really value the book.
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