Being an extrovert can not only be great for your social life, but for your immune system as well, new research suggests.
Some key personality traits, including being extraverted, are connected to how strong your immune system is, according to a new study from The University of Nottingham’s School of Medicine in England and published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Researchers looked at a diverse group of 121 men and women who were in good health and who completed personality tests. The tests were aimed at determining whether the participants were “extroverts” or “introverts,” as well as how conscientious they were.
The researchers were also provided with blood samples from the participants to examine the genes involved in regulating the immune system. The genes that they studied included those involved in the body’s pro-inflammatory immune response as well as those involving antiviral responses and antibodies.
The participants who were deemed “extroverts” were significantly associated with an increase in the genes that regulate the body’s pro-inflammatory response, researchers found. On the other hand, participants who were more “conscientiousness” showed a reduced response of those genes.
Extroverts and those with an outgoing nature can be exposed to infections more due to increased social interaction and therefore have a stronger immune system whereas introverts tend to have less exposure to contagions making their immune system less responsive.