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Abstract Shyness and sociability are two fundamental personality dimensions that are conceptually and empirically orthogonal and are conserved across cultures, development, and phylogeny.
However, we know relatively little regarding how shyness and sociability are represented and maintained in the brain. Here we examined neural responses to the processing of different types of social threat using event-related fMRI, the salivary cortisol awakening response CARand sociability in young adults selected for high and low shyness.
Shy adults who exhibited a relatively higher CAR displayed neural activity in putative brain regions involved in emotional conflict and awareness, and were more sociable.
In contrast, shy adults who displayed a relatively lower CAR exhibited neural activity in putative brain regions linked to fear and withdrawal, and were unsociable. Results revealed no systematic brain responses to social threat processing that correlated with the CAR in non-shy adults.
These preliminary results suggest that individual differences in waking morning cortisol levels may influence neural processes that facilitate either social approach or withdrawal among people who are shy.
Findings are discussed in relation to their theoretical and clinical implications for moving beyond longstanding descriptive to explanatory models of shyness and sociability and for understanding individual differences in social behavior in general. Cheek and Buss demonstrated that shyness and sociability were conceptually and empirically orthogonal and, contrary to popular belief, the two were not interchangeable.
People who are shy are not necessarily unsociable. Cheek and Buss then developed short self-report measures of shyness and sociability and selected individuals who were high and low on shyness and sociability and had them interact during an unfamiliar social situation.
The authors found that compared to their peers varying on high and low shyness and sociability, shy-sociable young adults exhibited significantly more anxious behavior, which were thought to originate from an approach—avoidance conflict, a combination of feelings of inhibition and desire to interact.
Utility of the Cheek and Buss measurement model in predicting differential risk for psychopathology also has been demonstrated, with higher substance use and abuse among shy-sociable and higher depression and loneliness among shy-unsociable adolescents and young adults for a review, see Schmidt and Buss, To date, the independence of shyness and sociability has been replicated across developmental ages, including children Asendorpf and Meier, ; Coplan et al.
The independence of these two basic dimensions is also ubiquitous across non-human animals e. Such universal behavioral manifestations of shyness and sociability across cultures, development, and phylogeny suggest the two personality traits are likely deeply rooted in our evolutionary history.
Yet, relatively little is known beyond subjective and behavioral correlates of shyness and sociability, and still less about the representation of the two traits and mechanisms that maintain them in the brain. For example, studies using peripheral psychophysiological measures have demonstrated a unique autonomic pattern, with higher heart rate and lower vagal tone correlates of stress reactivity in shy-sociable children in their everyday environments Asendorpf and Meier, and in shy-sociable young adults during the anticipation of unfamiliar social interactions, relative to their shy-unsociable counterparts Schmidt and Fox, Studies using electrocortical measures have identified a distinct pattern of greater relative right frontal EEG asymmetry at rest a brain correlate of stress vulnerability and avoidant behavior across both shy-sociable and shy-unsociable young adults.
What distinguished the two groups was the pattern of absolute activity in the left prefrontal cortex PFC; Schmidt, May 01, · Moreover, when using scores of fear or shyness that were independent of each other, month mother-reported fearfulness continued to interact with sex and sensitivity to predict month shyness; however, the positive relation between Time 1 and Time 2 shyness was consistent across sex and levels of sensitivity.
In this study, the mediator effects of self-esteem and humor style on the relationship between shyness and loneliness in Chinese college students were investigated. Findings are discussed in relation to their theoretical and clinical implications for moving beyond longstanding descriptive to explanatory models of shyness and sociability and for understanding individual differences in social behavior in general.
Personality effects on children’s speech in everyday life: sociability-mediated exposure. Personality effects on social relationships ) predicts that there is a relation between personality and the situations people naturally choose to be in; the 2nd model (H.
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Get started now! We explored the relation between shyness and social anxiety disorder (SAD) by investigating the role of sociability in this association.
Using a multicomponent approach, we found that sociability moderated the association between shyness and SAD in adults, such that individuals who experience conflicted shyness (i.e., scoring high on shyness and sociability) displayed the greatest disturbance.