ERIC Number: ED285224
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-May
Communication Implications of Shyness: A Report from Shy People.
Watson, Arden K.
Researchers have offered a number of explanations for why people occasionally or frequently feel shy in social situations, focusing on behavioral, psychological, or somatic causes. However, each theory encompasses a problem with communication skills. A study examined the communication implications of shyness as reported in definitions by both researchers and shy people. Participants, 187 females between the ages of 14 and 58 who described themselves as shy, reported four categories of shyness symptoms: (1) behavioral; (2) cognitive; (3) somatic; and (4) miscellaneous. Results showed 18.9% of the responses in the behavioral category dealt with communication deficiencies, while other responses included withdrawing from awkward communication situations, remaining passive, avoiding interactions, and avoiding eye contact. The women also reported feeling the shyest in large and small unstructured social gatherings. Hence, their communication skills, apart from cognitive or somatic problems, were of the most concern. The findings indicate the need shy people have for interpersonal communication skills as opposed to audience-related skills, and the need for behavioral approaches to social skills in overcoming shyness. (Sixteen references are included.) (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A