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The hidden face of shyness: a message from the shy for researchers and practitioners

Harris, P.R. (1984) The hidden face of shyness: a message from the shy for researchers and practitioners. Human Relations, 37 (12). pp. 1079-1093. ISSN 0018-7267

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In employing techniques designed to facilitate the representation of responses in purely numerical form, psychologists run the risk of overlooking certain aspects of the phenomenon they are investigating. Letters writtenin response to a recent television program on shyness were examined with this in mind, and it is argued that this correspondence reveals a belief among the correspondents that shyness is not taken seriously by others, an aspect of the problem that has indeed been overlooked by psychologists working in the area. Moreover, this belief appears to heavily influence the responses of the correspondents to their difficulties, limiting the extent to which they are prepared to seek the advice and help of others, and trapping them in a spiral of isolation and ignorance that apparently serves to exacerbate their difficulties. It also contrasts sharply with their own accounts of the problems shyness brings. As well as adding substance to the more rarefied numerical accounts that characterize the psychological research literature on shyness, therefore, this qualitative material raises issues of concern both to those in the caring professions and those with a research interest in shyness (especially those interested in social psychological perspectives on the problem).

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 15:21
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2009 15:21
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/001872678403701205
Status: Published
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Identification Number: 10.1177/001872678403701205
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/9957

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