New York Times best-selling author Susan Cain will speak on the strengths and capabilities that introverts con- tribute to today’s society in a UCSB Arts & Lectures event tonight at 8 p.m. in Campbell Hall.
The author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Cain assesses and defends the significant role introverts play in crucial everyday environments. Her 2012 TED talk on the topic set a record with over one million views in its first week and more than three million views to date.
UCSB Arts & Lectures Associate Director Roman Baratiak said Cain’s presentation evaluates the oft-over- looked challenges and benefits of introversion and will be particularly applicable for students who seek solitude amid the chaos of college.
“Many students, and non-students, struggle with shy- ness, awkwardness and inadequacy in a culture that seems to celebrate the extrovert and the big personality.” Baratiak said. “The audience attending the lecture will see how having the ability for quiet introspection and reflection is in fact a gift, and that many of the most brilliant, innovative and creative persons today excelled precisely because of their quiet personality.”
Second-year psychology major Esther Yoon said Cain’s work highlights the importance of recognizing introverts’ and extroverts’ respective strengths in order to understand the two distinct methods for interpreting external stimuli.
“Personality is always a very interesting study in psychology too. We tend to easily categorize people into these two groups but there’s definitely more to just being one or the other,” Yoon said. “It’s important for the general public to understand both personalities very well before they can make the judgment and I think her work is one of the ways to let people know how introverts function in our society.”
In her TED talk, Cain notes that many schools mandate group work over individual work, putting introverted students at a serious disadvantage and raising concerns about whether this could cause both introverted and extroverted students to become dependent on others for ideas.
According to Yoli Gavaldon, a first-year pre-psychology major, Cain’s views on introverts could educate many and incite a shift in how less forthcoming members of society are perceived.
“I completely agree with Cain’s perspective. She brings up a lot of important and insightful points, such as that most of people’s great ideas are thought of when they are alone,” Gavaldon said. “Introverts are, according to Cain, ‘more knowledgeable,’ so why not appreciate and embrace them?
We could learn greatly from them and benefit from their new, fresh ideas. I am really impressed with her work and appreciate that she has called for a change of action that will embrace introverts.”
A self-described introvert, Galvadon said attending Cain’s lecture could alter how students view themselves and give a greater sense of confidence to those who feel underrepresented.
“I would love to attend this talk because I am, most definitely, an introvert,” Gavaldon said. “I feel that I could learn a lot from her talk and walk away with a new way to look at myself. It’d help me feel proud and empowered for being the way I am, instead of me feeling out of place because I am not as outgoing as others.”
Baratiak said the lecture will give students a chance to connect with the author on a more personal level by asking questions and discussing the topic beyond what was covered in her popular TED talk.
“The Arts & Lectures public lecture series presents outstanding speakers that will get students thinking and discussing important matters than can influence them for life,” Baratiak said. “Not only do you get to listen to a best-selling author, but you can ask questions and meet them onstage afterwards. What a terrific opportunity for students interested in life-long learning.”
Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for UCSB students with current student IDs and are available on the Arts & Lectures website at https://artsandlectures.sa.ucsb.edu/. A book signing will follow the talk and books will be available for purchase at the lecture.