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How Introverts versus Extroverts Approach Small-Group Argumentative Discussions

E. Michael Nussbaum
The Elementary School Journal
Vol. 102, No. 3 (Jan., 2002), pp. 183-197
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1002215
Page Count: 15
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How Introverts versus Extroverts Approach Small-Group Argumentative Discussions
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Abstract

This research explored disparities between how students with different degrees of extroversion and introversion engaged in small-group discussions requiring the construction and critique of arguments. 2 studies were conducted. In the first study, 8 sixth-grade students from 2 classes discussed urban planning dilemmas in 2 small groups outside the classroom. Discussions were videotaped. Based on student responses to a short personality questionnaire, the 8 target students were selected from the extremes of the classroom distribution (4 extroverts and 4 introverts). The more extroverted students made significantly more contradictions and counterexamples during small-group discussions with other extroverts, indicating a greater tendency to use conflictual discourse. In contrast, the more introverted students worked with one another collaboratively to develop creative solutions. A replication study was conducted using 16 preservice teachers enrolled in an introductory educational psychology course; this study yielded similar results. Possible explanations of these findings are discussed.

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