Everyone knows that person at work who sits at his or her desk, headphones in, and hardly utters a word to anyone the entire day. You've never given much thought to that silent co-worker, other than Maybe he's just focused or Maybe social settings aren't her thing.
Well, you should probably pay closer attention to that colleague, because according to an upcoming paper, introverted employees are more likely to give low evaluations of job performance to extraverted co-workers. This, in turn, gives introverts a powerful role in workplaces that rely on peer-to-peer evaluations for awarding raises, bonuses, or promotions. The findings are based on according to two studies from researchers at Oregon State University, the University of Florida and University of Notre Dame.
I've just officially renamed that person at the office the "Silent-But-Deadly Co-Worker" (or SBDCW).
A group of researchers led by Keith Leavitt, an assistant professor at Oregon State University, assigned 178 MBA students to project teams of four or five for the semester. Halfway through the course, the individuals filled out questionnaires about their team members, team processes, and their own personalities.
The introverted team members rated the performance of other introverts higher than that of extroverts. You might think this is because people tend to favor those similar to them, but on the contrary, the ratings given by extroverts were not significantly impacted by the personality of the team member they were evaluating.
A second experiment, mentioned in this paper, took it even further by suggesting that introverts judge extroverts more harshly than fellow introverts, even when there's no difference in performance.
An OSU press release describes how it was conducted: