Shyness, Innate Or Social Quality? A Research Paper On Shyness

1559 words - 7 pages

Are you shy? 1 out of 3 people will answer 'yes' to this question (Carducci, Zimbardo). According to the magazine Psychology Today, shyness is "awkwardness or apprehension some people feel when approaching or being approached by other people". Over the past 40 years, the percentage of people who consider themselves shy has risen to nearly 50% (Henderson). The significant number of shy people has sparked many researchers to find out what causes this so-called symptom. After numerous experiments and researches, it is accepted that there are several factors that can lead to shyness. Moreover, there are many ways to deal with this symptom. Shyness is caused by both social and innate factors; however, there are several ways to overcome it.
There are several social factors such as social programming and competitive society that lead to shyness. Phillip Zimbardo, who is a famous professor of psychology, criticized "those in criminal justice who analyze, investigate ...and pass sentence on individuals while overlooking and minimizing the power of situations" (Zimbardo). One of the ideas that he presents is social programming. This is related with our current society where people are constantly moving around. Consequently, people feel lonely and become marooned. In A Nation of Strangers by Vance Packard, he documented that the average American moves approximately 14 times in his lifetime (Packard). This mobility causes many people to have a hard time going through a loss of community, identity, and continuity (Zimbardo, 48). People are quickly becoming a nation of lonely strangers, and it's getting harder for them to interact with other people. Furthermore, children are affected even more when they are moved around with no choice. A researcher named Robert Ziller, studied the relationship between mobility and its psychological effects. He studied 3 groups of students, ranging in mobility from moving 0 times to 7 times. The students were assessed on identification with people, social isolation and self-esteem. As a result, Ziller found out that students with the highest mobility were the most socially secluded. Those students also described themselves as 'unusual' and labeled themselves as outcasts. This constant mobility of our society can affect people and deprive them of sense of belonging, causing them to be shy.
In addition to this, ones environment can greatly influence one's feeling of self worth. Our current society can be summed up in one word. Competitive. People nowadays are constantly focused on competition and material success. Although competition helps society grow by stimulating people and encouraging them to improve, it also has negative effects. Even though failure does not reflect ones worth, people are constantly trying to prove their importance by material success. Furthermore, many relationships that people share nowadays are purely utilitarian. Naturally, people become anxious about these capricious relationships. They worry...

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