Shyness pp 227-238 | Cite as

Shyness, Social Behavior, and Relationships

  • Warren H. Jones
  • Bruce N. Carpenter
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


Beyond the distress that the shy person experiences in social situations, one is tempted to ask what difference shyness makes. It is one thing to assert that shyness is related to self-reports of anxiety, self-esteem, fearfulness, etc., and quite another to demonstrate its relevance to overt social behavior or its impact on the development or continuation of important and ongoing personal relationships. Shyness is often conceptualized as a dimension of personality, and in that regard it is important to note that the concept of personality is used in two distinct ways in psychology: personality refers to (a) internal psychological structures and dynamics (e.g., individual differences, traits, expectations, beliefs, etc.); and (b) the reputation an individual acquires within the context of a social group. Some personality psychologists have recently emphasized not only the need to examine the linkages between these two conceptualizations, but also that the primary purpose of investigating personality in the former sense is to explain personality in the latter sense (e.g., Hogan, 1983). Similarly, the focus of this chapter is to examine research relating shyness (conceived as a relatively stable dimension of personality) to social behavior, relationships, and the reactions of others.


Social Support Social Anxiety Interpersonal Behavior Female Friend Loneliness Scale 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren H. Jones
    • 1
  • Bruce N. Carpenter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TulsaTulsaUSA

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