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Estimating the prevalence of shyness in the "global village": pluralistic ignorance or false consensus?

Harris, P.R. and Wilshire, P. (1988) Estimating the prevalence of shyness in the "global village": pluralistic ignorance or false consensus? Journal of Personality, 56 (2). pp. 405-414. ISSN 0022-3506

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ABSTRACT Only a minority of those who experience shyness consider themselves to be shy people One explanation for this lies in the possibility that those who so label themselves underestimate the extent to which their feelings are shared by others (i.e, perceive the consensus surrounding their experiences as low [Kelley, 1967]), resulting in an internal rather than external attribution This proposition was tested by asking shy and not-shy followers of two TV soap operas to rate a number of characters from the programs, together with a list of their friends and relatives, for shyness, competitiveness, and optimism Although there were no differences between the groups in their ratings of competitiveness and optimism, the shy subjects reported greater shyness among both the soap-opera characters and their friends and relatives than the not-shy group Whatever the basis for the self-labeling of shyness, therefore, it does not appear to he in the low consensus/pluralistic ignorance notion A number of alternative explanations are discussed, together with the implications of these findings for explanations of the false consensus effect

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2009 15:04
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2009 15:04
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6494.1988.tb00893...
Status: Published
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
Identification Number: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.1988.tb00893.x
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9955

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