Shyness pp 47-60 | Cite as

The Measurement of Shyness

  • Stephen R. Briggs
  • Thomas G. Smith
Part of the Emotions, Personality, and Psychotherapy book series (EPPS)


Shyness is not unlike many psychological constructs in that it connotes a rich cluster of behaviors, cognitions, feelings, and bodily reactions. It reduces to no single, concrete object or referent; rather, it represents a convenient abstraction of characteristics we observe in others and in ourselves. The breadth of the construct explains in part its popularity as a label in everyday discourse, but this breadth also creates some confusion among those who wish to understand the nature, origins, and consequences of shyness. Everyone is familiar with the common usage and general meaning of the term, and thus there is substantial overlap in the definitions and measures used in shyness research. At the same time, however, there are areas of fundamental disagreement. Those who study shyness differ in their emphasis and level of specificity, and these differences are reflected in the various ways in which shyness is conceptualized and operationalized as well as in the type of questions that are researched.


Social Anxiety Social Avoidance Distress Scale Global Observation Prior Behavior 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen R. Briggs
    • 1
  • Thomas G. Smith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of TulsaTulsaUSA
  2. 2.Late of the Department of Behavioral StatisticsBaylor UniversityWacoUSA

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