Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford


  • Robert J. CoplanEmail author
  • Bowen Xiao
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_1113-1



Shyness is a temperamental trait characterized by heightened fear and wariness in novel social situations (e.g., meeting new people) and self-consciousness and embarrassment in situations of perceived social evaluation (e.g., being the center of attention) (Rubin et al. 2009). Shyness is also considered to be a narrow personality trait (related to facets of introversion and neuroticism). In its extreme form, shyness shares some conceptual overlap (but is still considered distinct from) clinically diagnosed social anxiety disorder (Chavira et al. 2002). From a motivational perspective, shyness is thought to reflect a social approach-avoidance conflict. That is, shy individuals desire social contact (high social approach motivation) but at the same time are wary and anxious about participating in social exchanges (high social avoidance motivation). This distinguishes shyness from...


Social Anxiety Disorder Internet Addiction Overprotective Parent Negative Social Experience Social Unease 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Carleton UniversityOttawaCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Beth A. Visser
    • 1
  1. 1.Lakehead UniversityOrilliaCanada