Shyness pp 205-225 | Cite as

Positive, Negative, and Balanced Shyness

Self-Definitions and the Reactions of Others
  • Harrison G. Gough
  • Avril Thorne
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


Prior research has shown shyness to be related to concern about evaluations or possible evaluations by others (Schlenker & Leary, 1982; Zimbardo, 1977), discomfort and inhibition in the presence of others (Cheek & Buss, 1981), diffidence about entering into social interaction (Pilkonis, 1977), and exaggerated self-scrutiny and self-appraisal (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975; Leary, 1982). Small wonder that shyness is typically viewed as a problem or deficit to be overcome (Zimbardo & Radl, 1981), and as a barrier preventing individuals from demonstrating their true worth in dealings with others (Leary & Schlenker, 1981). Even from this very brief formulation, it seems clear that research investigations of shyness may profitably address two themes, (a) assessment of the inner or self-view of oneself as shy, and (b) analyses of reactions of others to determine whether such responses have the negative tone feared and expected by the shy person.


Staff Rating Nonzero Correlation Indicative Item Large Positive Correlation Undesirable Quality 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harrison G. Gough
    • 1
  • Avril Thorne
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Personality AssessmentUniversity of California, BerkeleyBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyWellesley CollegeWellesleyUSA

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