The One-Minute Lemon Test That Reveals If You're An Introvert Or Extrovert

This is not an elaborate "make lemonade" joke.

lemon drop test Getty Images

Personality tests are always in style and are almost more compelling than reading your daily horoscope. But do you know about the ultimate personality test? You can't do this one online; instead, you've got to do it in real life.

Known as the lemon drop test, it requires a trip to the grocery store, but it's totally worth it.

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the lemon drop personality test.

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No, this is not a test to see if you have a "sour" disposition. (I love puns, but will acknowledge that a line must be drawn somewhere.) Rather, the lemon personality test determines your personality traits, and whether or not you are an introvert or an extrovert, all by measuring your spit.

That's right, your saliva can tell you things you've never known about yourself! Crazy, right?

The science works like this.

There's a part of your brain called the Reticular Activating System, or RAS for short. It's stimulated by social contact and by the introduction of food to our mouths.


Scientists have come to believe that introverts have more activity in the RAS. This means that introverts produce more saliva than extroverts when confronted with stimulus.

The study, performed by Hans Eysenck and published in 1967, actually found evidence that this test works.

In his study, Eysenck found that introverts salivate more in response to the lemon juice than those who were identified as extroverts. This led him to create his PEN model, which holds the idea that personality traits are of a biological basis.

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What you'll need for the lemon drop personality test:

  • 1 fresh lemon
  • Cotton wool swabs
  • Kitchen weighing scales

To take the lemon personality test, follow the instructions below:

  1. Drop a large taste of lemon juice on your tongue and swirl it around for ten seconds.
  2. Use cotton balls to swab up all of the saliva you have produced.
  3. Weigh the cotton balls.
  4. Now, ask a friend to join you in this exercise.
  5. Weigh their cotton balls.

Extroverts produce 50% less saliva than introverts. Those numbers are hard to ignore.

It's funny that the brain's way of communicating that you are an individual who needs time alone to recharge and restore is by producing a ton of saliva, but there you go.

Maybe it was an early defense mechanism for introverts. They would be forced to go to a party they didn't want to go to, and when they were cornered they could just spit out a massive amount of saliva and then flee. (That seems unlikely, but it's fun to think about all the same.)


I tried the lemon experiment myself and confirmed that I am one heck of an introvert, and my cotton ball is still covered in saliva to prove it. I wonder if I'll now react that way when presented with social obligations as well. We'll have to wait and see.

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer and the Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek. Her work focuses on relationships, psychology, pop culture, and news.