Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
Louis A. Schmidt
Numerous studies have suggested that shyness and sociability may be orthogonal personality traits, each of which are associated with distinct behavioural and psychophysiological correlates. Shyness has been linked to a variety of adverse mental health outcomes, and individuals who are high on both shyness and sociability (conflicted subtype) may be particularly at risk. The current study first aimed to assess the psychometric properties of the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBSS; Cheek, 1983) before examining the moderating influence of sociability on shyness in relation to psychological and psychosomatic functioning. The internal consistency, test–retest reliability, and convergent/discriminant validity of the RCBSS was assessed using a sample of 152 university students, a subset of whom were tested 6 months later. Results provided support for the strong internal consistency and short- and long-term stability of the measure, as well as its convergent, divergent, and predictive validity.
A significant shy X social interaction was found for the Bodily Preoccupations (BP) subscale of the Illness Attitudes Scale (IAS; Kellner, 1986, 1987). In particular, BP scores were significantly higher for the high shy-high social group than the low shy-high social group. This finding suggests that the conflicted subtype can be distinguished not only on behavioural and psychophysiological dimensions but also on the psychosomatic level. This result extends prior research and lends further evidence towards the notion that the treatment of shyness as a multidimensional construct, rather than a unitary construct, accounts for additional variance in psychosomatic outcomes in different types of shy and socially withdrawn individuals. Accordingly, this knowledge may better inform treatment in some cases of extreme shyness in which people are socially withdrawn and inhibited for different reasons.
Rai, Ruby, "Shyness and sociability re-examined: Psychometrics, interactions, and correlates" (2011). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5723.
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