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I came across this sentence from a psychology article

If extraversion is so much more beneficial (at least superficially) than is introversion, then why isn't everyone an extravert?

If I were the author, I would say "than introversion is", but why do they switch the position of "introversion" and "is" in this sentence? Is this a grammar point that I do not know, or did the author make a grammatical mistake?

3 Answers 3

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Inversion can be found sometimes in comparatives after 'than'. Whether this is a mistake or simply a style choice may be debated.

(1) If extraversion is so much more beneficial ... than is introversion, then...

(2) If extraversion is so much more beneficial ... than introversion is, then...

The inverted form (1) may be preferred by people who deplore placing the verb 'is' at the end of the clause or sentence, and also because inversion here serves to put the contrastive subject of the second clause in end position, giving it more prominence. Many people consider it excessively stiff, formal, and unnatural. Another objection to this is that we usually do not need the second verb (here, 'is') at all, and a number of usage guides recommend dropping it altogether. This still keeps the contrasted element at the end. So the most natural version would probably be:

(3) If extraversion is so much more beneficial ... than introversion, then...

To be noted: this kind of inversion is never used with pronouns like here:

He is better informed about this than I am. (OK)
He is considerably better informed about this than am I. (NEVER)

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The author is using grammatically correct, but less frequently used word order. Why they are doing this is open to speculation which is outside the remit of this site.
Your version is the more common order and is also grammatically correct.
You could even simplify it still further, without loss of meaning by saying:

If extraversion is so much more beneficial (at least superficially) than introversion, why isn't everyone an extravert?

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This is a form of extraposition. Even though the extraposed element is a single word - "introversion", the verb is so little that there is still reason to do so for clarity. But as others have said, it is a stylistic choice.

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