Group Title: social psychology of shyness
Title: The social psychology of shyness
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THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF SHYNESS:
TESTING A SELF-PRESENTATIONAL MODEL










By

Mark Richard Leary


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF
THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY







UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1980














ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


The author wishes to express sincerest appreciation to

all those who contributed their time, effort, and patience

to the completion of the present project. First and fore-

most, I would like to thank Dr. Barry R. Schlenker, committee

chairman, academic advisor, and friend, for his interest,

expertise, and guidance through all phases of my graduate

career, including the present study. I can not imagine having

a more educational, productive, and amicable relationship with

one's major advisor than I have had with Dr. Schlenker for

the past four years. The bulk of my professional development

has been a result of his tutelage. I would also like to

thank the members of my supervisory committee for their sub-

stantial contributions, not only to the present study, but

to my graduate education at various points; many thanks to

Dr. 7.arvin Shaw, Dr. Larry Severy, Dr. James Algina, and Dr.

Ted Landsman. Three very capable and hard-working experi-

menters assisted in the data-collection phase of the study;

I would like to thank Jan Faust, Ellen Siegal, and Dan Grif-

fin for their help. Finally, I would like to thank my parents,

Edward and Eleanor Leary, who were instrumental in getting

me interested in school at an early age and have been nothing

but supportive throughout 20 long years of education.














TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................... .................. ii

ABSTRACT ............................................. v

CHAPTER

I INTRODUCTION .................................. 1

The Concept of Shyness. .......................... 2
Shyness and Self-Presentation ................ 10
Antecedents of Shyness ................ .......... 17
Motivation to Impress Other Interactants ... 17
Doubts About One's Ability to Achieve
Satisfactory Reactions .................. 22
Behavioral Accompaniments of Shyness ......... 36
Summary and Experimental Hypotheses ........... 44

II METHOD ........................ ........... ... .... 47

Subjects ...................................... 47
Procedure ..................................... 47

III RESULTS ....................................... 54

Manipulation Checks and FNE Data .............. 54
Ambiguity Manipulation ..................... 54
Feedback Manipulation ...................... 55
Fear of Negative Evaluation: Subject Data 58
Experimental Subjects' Self-Reports ........... 58
Self-Reports of Shyness and Relaxation ..... 58
Motivation to Make a Favorable Impression
and Perceived Success of Doing So ....... 66
Ratings of the Other Subject ............... 69
Ratings by Nonoxperimental Subjects ........... 70
Ratings of Shyness and Relaxation .......... 70
Evaluations of the Experimental Subjects ... 75
Miscellaneous Ratings ...................... 82
Observational Data ............................. 84
Initiation of Conversation ................. 85
Time Spent Talking .......................... 85
Number of Questions Asked .................. 90
Raters' Judgments of Shyness .............. 92
The Nonexperimental Subjects' Behavior ........ 97
Social Avoidance and Distress Scale .......... 104
Sex Differences .............................. 106









IV DISCUSSION ..................................... 107

Major Hypotheses ..................... ......... 107
Self-Reports of Shyness and Relacation ...... 108
Nonexperimental Subjects' and Judges'
Ratings ............... ......... ........ 110
Self-Presentational Concerns: Liabilities
and Assets ............................. 117
Methodological Issues and Suggestions for
Future Research .......................... 120
Summary ...... ................................. 124

APPENDICES ............. .............................. 125

A INITIAL SUBJECT INSTRUCTIONS ................... 127

B BACKGROUND INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE ........... 129

C INSTRUCTION SHEETS CONTAINING AMBIGUITY
MANIPULATION ............................... 134

D BACKGROUND INFORMATION SCORESHEET .............. 138

E POST INTERACTION QUESTIONNAIRE: EXPERIMENTAL
SUBJECT ..................................... 140

F POST INTERACTION QUESTIONNAIRE: NONEXPERI-
MENTAL SUBJECT .............................. 143

G NUMBER OF SUBJECTS PER CEiL .................... 146

REFERENCES .......................................... 147

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................... 154


I














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate Council
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF SHYNESS:
TESTING A SELF-PRESENTATIONAL MODEL

By

Mark Richard Leary

August,1980

Chairperson: Barry R. Schlenker
Major Department: Psychology

A social psychological model of shyness is presented

that conceptualizes shyness as a state of social anxiety

arising in real or imagined contingent interactions in which

people are motivated to make a favorable impression on oth-

ers, but doubt their ability to project images of themselves

that will produce satisfactory reactions from them. People

may doubt their ability to come across satisfactorily to

others either because they are unable to determine the na-

ture of the image that will result in satisfactory reactions

from others, or know how to act, but feel incapable of pro-

jecting the desired image. It was hypothesized that any

situational or dispositional variable that increases the

motivation to make a favorable impression upon others or

doubts in one's ability to appear to others in a way that

results in satisfactory reactions should increase the

probability that the individual will feel shy.







An experiment was conducted in which subjects classi-

fied as high or low in Fear of Negative Evaluation were

motivated to project a particular image to another individ-

ual. Subjects were either told how people who project the

image tend to act, or had no idea of how to project the

image. In addition, subjects received bogus feedback

indicating that they were high, average, or low in the

ability to project the image, or received no such infor-

mation. Data obtained from subjects' self-reports of shy-

ness, others' ratings of the subject, and subjects' verbal

behaviors in a dyadic interaction tended to support the

model, although the results were not perfectly consistent.

Increased shyness tended to be associated with high Fear of

Negative Evaluation, high ambiguity regarding the nature of

the image likely to result in satisfactory reactions from

others, and the belief that one ranked low in the ability

to make good first impressions upon others, although these

variables did not interact, as had been predicted.


Chairperson














CHAPTER I

INTRODUCTION


Nearly everyone experiences shyness in some social sit-

uations. For some, the experience is infrequent and mild;

for others, it is frequent and severe, and regularly inter-

feres with their social lives. The best estimates indicate

that approximately 40% of all Americans consider themselves

to be shy and that more than half regard shyness as an occa-

sional personal problem (Lazarus, 1976; Pilkonis, 1976, 1977a,

Zimbardo, 1977; Zimbardo, Pilkonis, & Norwood, 1974).

Yet, despite the prevalence of the experience and the de-

gree to which many consider it a personal (or interpersonal)

problem, shyness has received little empirical or theoretical

attention from social psychologists. A few descriptive-cor-

relational studies have been conducted, but the topic lacks

a thorough conceptual analysis that identifies social factors

involved in the experience of shyness and provides a frame-

work for understanding the behavioral and interpersonal con-

sequences of it.

This dissertation presents a social psychological model

of shyness that conceptualizes shyness as social anxiety

arising from interpersonal concerns about one's self-present-

ations and inability to control others' reactions to the in-

dividual. First, prior conceptual analyses of shyness and








related concepts will be examined and a working definition

of shyness proposed. After discussing the nature of self-

presentation, a theory of shyness will be presented and fac-

tors involved in the experience of shyness, both situational

and dispositional, will be examined in detail. Behavioral

manifestations of shyness will be dealt with in terms of the

model, and hypotheses advanced regarding the causes and con-

sequences of shyness. An experiment will then be described

in detail that examines hypotheses derived from the theory.

The Concept of Shyness

Like many "everyday" words that have been adopted for

specialized usage by psychologists, the term "shyness" is

overburdened by a diversity of meanings. In short, the term

has been used to refer to a subjective experience of discom-

fort and anxiety in the presence of others, to typical phys-

iological and behavioral manifestations of such anxiety

(such as overt signs of discomfort--blushing, awkwardness,

reticence, tentativeness), and to a personality disposition

to experience social anxiety and respond in such ways.

By far the most work on shyness has focused on the iden-

tification of it as a personality trait (see Crozier, 1979,

for a review of these studies). For example, Cattell (1973)

identifies shyness as one component of the H-neigative or

thru'ctic personality Thihroe c minividuals are hig-hly n:-

ceptible to threat, according to Cattell, because of an overly

active sympathetic nervous system that overresponds to phys-

ical and social assaults upon the individual. As a result,

such people tend to be shy, timid, restrained, and sensitive,








as contrasted to paramic individuals, who tend to be ad-

venturous, bold in social encounters, and "thick-skinned."

Cattell suggested that threctia has an inherited component

and decreases with age beyond adolescence.

Similarly, Comrey (1965; Comrey & Jamison, 1966) iden-

tified shyness as one of six "factored homogeneous item di-

mensions" obtained from factor analyses of 216 personality

trait items. Items loading highest on the shyness factor

included shyness, seclusiveness, reserve, stage fright, and

follower-role.

Hans Eysenck (Eysenck & Eysenck, 1968) has identified

shyness as a component of introversion. Unfortunately,

through the popularity of Eysenck's work on introversion-

extraversion, shyness and introversion are often treated as

if they are synonomous, which they are not. For example,

Zimbardo (1977) blurs the distinction between the two con-

cepts when he writes:

At one end of the shyness continuum are those who
feel more comfortable with books, ideas, objects,
or nature than with other people. Writers, scien-
tists, inventors, forest rangers, and explorers
might well have chosen a life's work that enables
them to spend much of their time in a world only
sparsely populated with humans. They are largely
introverts, and association with others holds limit-
ed appeal compared to their needs for privacy and
solitude. (p. 29).

It must be stressed at this point that although the types of

people described by Zimbardo may be introverts--people whose

thoughts and interests are primarily directed inward rather

than toward others--it does not follow that they are neces-

sarily shy. As will be detailed below, an introverted








preference for solitary activities constitutes shyness only

if the preference arises from the individual's anxiety and

discomfort in social encounters. A person may be introverted

for nonsocial reasons; for example, it may be that the pri-

vate and aloof writer is simply caught up in his work, but

is not socially anxious when in the presence of others. (On

the other hand, a shy person may appear quite outgoing and

confident despite subjectively experienced anxiety.) Al-

though shyness and extraversion are moderately negatively

correlated (r = -.43, P < .01; Pilkonis, 1977a), the con-

cepts of shyness and introversion are not interchangeable

and should not be confused. Shyness involves social anxiety,

and this is not a necessary component of introversion.

In short, numerous studies (Crozier, 1979) have shown

there to be identifiable individual differences in the degree

to which people respond "shyly" in social encounters. Al-

though such trait approaches are interesting, they root shy-

ness in the character of the individual and direct attention

away from interpersonal processes that precipitate the expe-

rience and behavioral manifestations of shyness.

Other approaches to the concept of shyness have defined

shyness in terms of tentative and inhibited behavior. Pil-

konis (1977a) defines shyness as a "tendency to avoid social

interaction and fail to participate appropriately in social

situations" (p. 585), while Buss (1980) defines it as "the

relative absence of expected social behaviors" (p. 184).

These two definitions have three problems in common.








First, they rely too heavily on overt manifestations

of shyness even though shyness may be experienced without

obvious behavioral consequences. Some individuals can appear

outwardly calm even though they experience anxiety and show

subtle physiological or behavioral signs of it. Zimbardo

(1977) cites several examples of stage performers who con-

sider themselves quite shy despite their public appearance of

poise and self-control. These considerations create problems

for definitions of shyness that focus exclusively on grosser

behaviors such as the avoidance of interaction or the ab-

sence of appropriate behaviors.

Second, as mentioned earlier, shyness must be distin-

guished from other possible reasons why people might fail to

respond appropriately in social encounters. People often

avoid particular others not because they feel anxious, awk-

ward, or fearful in their presence, but because they prefer

other, solitary activities. Introverts, for example, prefer

solitary activities to social interaction, tut are not neces-

sarily shy when interacting with others.

Third, these approaches fail to mention the one aspect

of shyness that is universally reported as a component of the

experience: subjective anxiety (Zimbardo, 1977). Thus, it

would seem useful to define shyness as an experience of anx-

iety that occurs under certain conditions, then identify

behaviors that tend to accompany the experience, while not

making such behaviors a sufficient part of the definition.

Zimbardo (1977) equates shyness with a type of people-

phobia: "to be shy is to be afraid of people, especially








people who for some reason are emotionally threatening" (p.

23). This definition, although focusing on shyness as a

subjective experience, is unacceptably broad. There are

many reasons why an individual might fear other people aside

from shyness; one may be approached by an angry drunk, be

lost in a large city after dark, or fear reprimand by a dis-

satisfied superior. Similarly, Buss' (1980) definition of

social anxiety as "discomfort in the presence of others"

(p. 204) fails to distinguish between social anxiety and

other forms of discomfort (e. g., being too hot, feeling ill,

being crowded) that may occur when other people are around.

In short, no single definition of shyness has been pro-

posed that is entirely satisfactory. The definition to be

used throughout this report is that shyness is a state of

social anxiety resulting from real or imagined contingent

interactions in which no event has threatened the individ-

ual's public image. It will be helpful to clarify the key

concepts in this definition before proceeding.

First, by state, we are referring to a transitory con-

dition of an organism that fluctuates over situations and

time. While wishing to avoid the trait vs. state anxiety

issue here (e.g., Spielberger, 1968), it should be simply

made clear that we are referring to shyness as a state of

anxiety, with the full realization that there are individual

differences in the degree to which people experience this

state. As will be discussed in detail below, certain per-

sonality traits may "predispose" certain people to experience

such anxiety more often and/or more acutely than others.








Anxiety is a negative affective reaction that is char-

acterized by apprehension about an impending, potentially

negative outcome. The apprehension may be conscious or un-

conscious, the impending threat real or imagined, and the

source of the anxiety may be either internal or external to

the person (Lesse, 1970). Anxiety is manifested in measur-

able physiological and behavioral reactions (e.g., palmar

sweating, muscular tension, increased pulse, verbal dys-

functions), although these signs may not always be obvious

to external observers. This becomes more likely to the de-

gree that such behaviors are under a certain amount of vol-

untary control.

Shyness results from real or imagined interactions.

Thus, one might experience shyness while in a social encount-

er, while contemplating such an encounter, or while imagining

that one is interacting with others.

Interactions differ in the degree to which the inter-

actants' responses follow from or are contingent upon the

responses of other interactants (Jones & Gerard, 1967). In

contingent interactions, the responses of a given individual

are heavily contingent upon the proceeding responses of other

interactants. Although each individual in a contingent inter-

action, such as a conversation, may have interaction goals

(and plans about how these goals may be achieved) that par-

tially guide their behaviors, their immediate responses must,

to a degree, follow from and be guided by others' responses.

In noncontingent encounters, the individual's behavior is








guided primarily by one's plans and only minimally, if at

all, by others' responses. An actor in a play, a person de-

livering a prepared speech, a musician on stage, and a super-

visor giving directions to workers are all in noncontingent

interactions vis-a-vis their audience. (They may be in a

contingent interaction in relation to co-performers at the

same time, however.) Their behaviors are basically prede-

termined by their plans for the encounter and, unless unex-

pected events occur (such as the audience becomes unruly),

the behaviors will be executed as planned with only minimal

responsiveness to the audience.

Of course, in real life, there are few purely noncon-

tingent interactions. Even an actor on stage is minimally

aware of and responsive to audience cues. Nevertheless, the

distinction is a useful one, for it allows identification of

different classes of factors that precipitate shyness (in

contingent interactions) versus audience anxiety (in non-

contingent interactions) and posits slightly different be-

havioral reactions to social anxiety depending upon the nature

of the encounter in which it occurs. For example, in most

noncontingent encounters, people are operating from some de-

gree of a behavioral plan, whether it is an explicit script,

speech, or composition that they are to perform or merely

an implicit idea about how they are going to behave. Thus,

once in a noncontingent interaction, people are unlikely to

have doubts about how they should respond, although they may

doubt their ability to execute their plans successfully. In

contingent interactions, however, people may have little or









no behavioral plan, or else be forced to continually modify

their plan in light of others' responses. In such encounters,

doubts about how one should respond may be high, resulting

in anxiety. On the behavioral side, the contingent-noncon-

tingent distinction has implications for how people deal

with anxiety-producing situations. Reticence and premature

withdrawal from the encounter are much more likely to be

consequences of shyness than audience anxiety, for example.

Although a full discussion of the different implications

of contingent versus noncontingent interactions for the

antecedents and consequences of social anxiety goes beyond

the scope of the present discussion, it should simply be

stated that the focus of the model presented here is upon

anxiety resulting from contingent interactions--shyness--and

we will have little further need to refer to noncontingent

encounters or audience anxiety.

The final qualification of the present definition,

that shyness occurs only in interactions in which no event

has threatened the individual's public image,allows a dis-

tinction to be drawn between shyness and embarrassment. As

will be discussed below, embarrassment is a state of social

anxiety that occurs when events appear to repudiate self-

relevent images an individual desires to claim (Schlenker,

1980), and may occur in either contingent or noncontingent

interactions. As Buss (1980) observes, the apprehensions

that occur with shyness are future-oriented, whereas

embarrassment occurs in reaction to a particular past








event. In the case of shyness, no event has occurred that

reflects unfavorably upon the individual's self-presentations.

The theory presented below proposes that underlying

the experience of shyness are people's misgivings about the

ways they are being or will be perceived by others. Specif-

ically, shyness is conceptualized as a state of social anx-

iety arising in real or imagined contingent interactions in

which people are motivated to make a favorable impression

upon others, but doubt their ability to project images of

themselves that will produce satisfactory reactions from them.

We will examine this proposition in detail after discussing

the nature of self-presentation.

Shyness and Self-Presentation

Through all facets of their appearance, speech, and be-

havior, people lay claim to particular social identities that

have implications for how they are evaluated and treated by

others (Goffman, 1959; Schlenker, 1980). Since others'

responses to the individual are based in large part upon

their perceptions of him/her, it is usually in people's best

interests to convey particular images of themselves to those

with whom they interact, a process called self-presentation.

Specifically, self-presentation is defined as the conscious

or unconscious attempt to control the self-relevent images

that are projected in real or imagined social interactions

(Schlenker, 1980). An image is defined as a mental picture,

categorization, or schema of a person, object, or event.





11

If one's projected images are appropriate and acceptable

to those the individual interacts with, then he or she usu-

ally stands to gain valued outcomes, such as friendship,

material rewards, respect, acceptance, and so on. If the

projected self-images are deemed undesirable or inappropriate

by others, the actor is likely to receive negatively valued

outcomes, such as disapproval, loss of public esteem, pun-

ishment, or ostracism. Thus, most people are highly moti-

vated to control the nature of their self-presentations in

order to maximize their reward-cost ratio in social inter-

actions.

It is important to note that self-presentation is not

necessarily deceptive or discrepant from the individual's

self-concept. In most cases, in fact, self-presentation

merely involves bringing certain of one's actual attributes

or accomplishments to another's attention. Of course, it is

also common for people to deliberately attempt to project im-

pressions of themselves that are not in line with the way they

"really" are. In addition, it should be emphasized that self-

presentation is not always a deliberate strategic attempt to

produce a desired impression upon others. It can also re-

flect a well-ingrained, habitual response triggered by rel-

event social cues (Schlenker, 1980).

When people believe that their public images are attract-

ive and acceptable to others, are not likely to be challenged

or repudiated, and are resulting in hedonically satisfactory

reactions from others, they should feel quite secure in the

ongoing interaction.








When a person senses that he is in face, he typically
responds with feelings of confidence and assurance.
Firm in the line he is taking, he feels that he can
hold his head up and openly present himself to others.
He feels some security and some relief . .
(Goffman, 1959, p. 8)

In such a situation, people are reaping valued outcomes from

their desirable images and are free from the anxiety of pre-

senting an image that is likely to result in undesirable

reactions, whatever their form, from others.

At the opposite extreme, an individual's public image

may be damaged by an undesirable event (such as a blunder

that makes one look foolish or undesirable) or by the re-

pudiation of a projected image (such as when one is unable

to live up to the claims contained in a particular presen-

tation). In such cases, people usually become embarrassed

and the interaction breaks down, at least temporarily (Buss,

1980; Goffman, 1955; Modigliani, 1971).

In a large percentage of social interactions, however,

the situation lies between these two extremes. Although

nothing has happened to damage the individual's social iden-

tity, people may not always believe that they are coming across

to others as well as they would like. People in this state

are not embarrassed, but neither do they believe they are

projecting images of themselves that will result in them re-

ceivin7 desired reactions from other interactants. They may

think they will not be able to project the types of images

the other interactants value, that they will not project the

quantity of the valued image, or they will be unable to live

up to images they have already attempted to claim, with




13


the consequence that they will be regarded negatively for

dissimulation.

If people in such a state believe that there is a low

probability of their social images resulting in valued re-

actions from others, no matter what they might do, they would

be expected to feel shy. Thus, shyness is proposed to be a

state of anxiety arising 'in real or imagined contingent

interactions in which people are motivated to make a favor-

able impression on others, but doubt their ability to pro-

ject images of themselves that will produce satisfactory re-

actions from them. To clarify the basic proposition of the

model, it will be useful to closely examine its key concepts.

"State," "anxiety," and "real or imagined contingent inter-

actions" were discussed earlier.

People are motivated to make a favorable impression on

others to the degree that the others are in a position to im-

part outcomes having a high positive or negative value to the

individual. These outcomes may be either social rewards and

punishments (e.g., friendship, praise, respect, disliking,

vengence) or tangible material and physical gains or losses

(e.g., raises, fines, demotions, pain). The higher the ab-

solute value of such outcomes to the individual, the more

motivated he or she should be to make a favorable impression

on those who mediate them.

People doubt their ability to project images of them-

selves that produce satisfactory reactions when they believe

there is a low probability of controlling the impressions

others form of them, given the actor's goals in the interaction.









A number of possible reasons why people might doubt their

ability to project certain images in an encounter are dis-

cussed at length below.

A satisfactory reaction from others is defined as anoth-

er's response to an individual that has a positive rather

than a neutral or negative subjective value to the individ-

ual. Anticipated reactions from others are evaluated by the

individual in terms of his or her comparison level (Thibaut

& Kelley, 1959). Anticipated reactions that meet or exceed

this level should be regarded as satisfactory by the indi-

vidual; those that fail to meet the comparison level should

result in dissatisfaction, and this dissatisfaction would be

expected to increase as the discrepancy between the antici-

pated reaction from others and the actor's comparison level

increases.

The concept of comparison level is important here be-

cause it helps explain why people who are, as judged by out-

side observers, coming across well socially and being respond-

ed to quite positively may still feel shy. As people's com-

parison levels increase, their standards are raised, and they

must anticipate receiving increasingly valued responses from

others in order not to feel dissatisfied with others' reac-

tions. Given the same positive reactions from others, a per-

son with a low comparison level may feel quite satisfied and

secure, whereas a person with a higher comparison level might

feel dissatisfied and anxious. Bandura (1969, p. 37) notes

that "many of the people who seek treatment [for social anxiety]









are neither incompetent nor anxiously inhibited, but they

experience a great deal of personal distress stemming from

excessively high standards for self-evaluation, often sup-

ported by unfavorable comparisons with models noted for their

extraordinary achievements."

In summary, it is hypothesized that shyness arises as a

joint function of the motivation to make a favorable impress-

ion on others and the presence of self-doubts regarding one's

ability to control such impressions in a manner that results

in satisfactory reactions from them. Thus, as either the

motivation to impress others or doubts about one's ability

to achieve satisfactory reactions increases, the potential

for feeling shy should increase. Obversely, if the motiva-

tion to make a favorable impression is low or people believe

they are able to project images that will result in satis-

factory reactions from others in a particular encounter,

shyness should be minimal.

Other writers have previously suggested that shyness and

social anxiety may be linked to concerns with how one is

appearing to others. In The Expression of Emotion in Man

and Animals, Charles Darwin (1872/1955) suggested that shy-

ness-induced blushing results from self-attention due to

concerns with one's appearance before others: "It is not

the simple act of reflecting on our own appearance, but think-

ing what others think of us, which excites a blush" (p. 325).

He added that, "shyness seems to depend on sensitiveness to

the opinion . of others," although Darwin suggested that








shyness resulted primarily from concerns with one's physical

appearance. He also noted that people are seldom shy in the

presence of those with whom they are familiar, and "whose

good opinion and sympathy they are perfectly assured"

(p. 330). In short, Darwin's early analysis is clearly

congruent with the self-presentational model of shyness pre-

sented here.

More recently, Dixon, de Monchaux, and Sandler (1957)

factor analyzed 26 items from the Tavistock Self-Assessment

Inventory that could be classed under the broad heading of

social anxieties. In addition to a large general social anx-

iety factor, four factors emerged, each of which dealt with a

different aspect of people's concerns with how they are per-

ceived by others. The factor of social timidity refers to

the fear of creating an adverse impression due to awkwardness

resulting from not knowing how to behave in certain situa-

tions. The second factor, loss of control, reflects concerns

with losing bodily control in social situations, such as

stumbling, vomiting, or becoming ill. Presumably, such fears

arise primarily because of how the actor appears in light of

such unfortunate events. Exhibitionism, the third factor,

refers to anxiety resulting from being the center of atten-

tion, while the fourth, fear of revealing inferiority, re-

flects fears of being negatively evaluated by others because

of personal inadequacy. All four factors reflect not only

concerns with one's public image, but concerns over situa-

tions in which one has minimal, if any, control over how one

is appearing to others.








Antecedents of Shyness

According to the conceptualization presented earlier,

two major factors are implicated in the experience of shy-

ness: (a) the motivation to make a favorable impression up-

on others, and (b) doubts about one's ability to project

images that will result in satisfactory reactions from others.

Let us examine each of these classes of antecedents separately.

Motivation to Impress Other Interactants

A necessary precondition for the experience of shyness

is that the individual be motivated to make a favorable im-

pression upon others in the service of obtaining desired re-

actions from them. The individual who has absolutely no con-

cern for how he or she is regarded in a particular encounter

would not be expected to feel shy on that occasion. In

addition, the potential for shyness should increase as the

motivation to impress other interactants increases.

The motivation to make a favorable impression upon oth-

ers should be a direct function of the subjective worth of

the others' reactions to the individual. The greater the

value of others' potential reactions, the more the individual

should be motivated to project images the others might value

in an attempt to achieve such reactions. A number of factors

would be expected to affect the subjective value of others'

reactions.

First, the subjective value of others' reactions is

directly related to the subjective value of tangible out-

comes others are in the position to bestow. People should








be more motivated to impress those who are in the position

to mediate very positive or very negative outcomes, such as

promotions, raises, awards, physical harm, dismissal, and so

on, than those who can not mediate such outcomes. Thus, the

potential for shyness should be greater when one interacts

with those who are powerful and influential vis-a-vis the

individual than with those who are not.

Similarly, the reactions of certain people are rendered

more valuable by their personal characteristics. The sub-

jective worth of reactions from those who are perceived as

attractive, competent, discriminating, or high in status

should be higher than the reactions of those with less flat-

tering personal characteristics (Tedeschi, Schlenker, &

Bonoma, 1973). Thus, people should be more motivated to im-

press an important, highly esteemed audience, independent of

tangible outcomes they might bestow, than a nonsignificant

one, and would be more likely to feel shy when interacting

with them. In support of the proposed relationship between

audience characteristics and social anxiety, research has

shown that people are more likely to report being shy when

dealing with those who are perceived as powerful, competent,

attractive, in authority, and of high status than with those

who are not (Zimbardo, 1977).

People should also be more motivated to make a favorable

impression when the self-relevent image of concern in a given

encounter is seen as more attractive, important, or relevent

to the individual's self-concept, and people should be more








motivated to achieve satisfactory reactions from others in

response to them. A woman who prides herself as being in-

telligent and well-read, but not athletic, should be moti-

vated to appear intellectual to others, but minimally con-

cerned about appearing athletic. According to the present

theory, a threat to her ability to appear intellectual to

others should result in feelings of shyness, whereas her in-

ability to appear athletic should not. Thus, people should

be more likely to become shy when the self-image under con-

sideration is an important one to them.

Particular situations also increase the motivation to

make a favorable impression and thus the potential to become

shy by increasing the saliency of others' possible reactions.

For example, a man might feel more shy in an interaction

with his boss shortly before promotion decisions are to be

made.

In addition to situational factors that increase the

motivation to appear well, a number of individual difference

variables should be associated with heightened concerns with

others' potential reactions and increase the chances that

certain kinds of people would experience social anxiety in

social encounters.

Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss (1975) and Buss (1980)

have suggested that public self-consciousness is a necessary,

though not sufficient,precondition for social anxiety.

People who are highly publicly self-conscious are particu-

larly aware of how they are regarded and treated by others








and are sensitized to others' evaluations of them (e.g.,

Fenigstein, 1979). People who are low in public-self-con-

sciousness, on the other hand, have little awareness of or

interest in how they are coming across to others. Since

others' evaluations are more salient to high than low pub-

lic self-conscious individuals, highs should be more moti-

vated to make a favorable impression upon those with whom

they deal. Even so, they should not feel shy unless they

also doubt their ability to make those impressions and achieve

satisfactory reactions.

Research has shown that public self-consciousness is

minimally but significantly correlated with measures of so-

cial anxiety. Fenigstein et al. (1975) and Pilkonis (1977a)

found correlations in the vicinity of +.20 (P's < .05)

between public self-consciousness and the social anxiety

subscale of the Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein et al.,

1975). In addition, Pilkonis (1977a) obtained a correlation

of +.19, and Cheek and Buss (1980) a correlation of +.26

(a's < .05) between public self-consciousness and self-
reported shyness. Thus, it appears that public self-con-

sciousness may increase people's potential for becoming

socially anxious by increasing their concerns with inter-

personal evaluation.

People who are high in need for approval (Crowne & Mar-

lowe, 1964) should also be more highly motivated to make a

favorable impression upon others than those who are low in

need for approval. Although originally conceived as a motive








to gain others' acceptance and approval by appearing in

socially desirable ways, recent research has suggested that

people who score high in need for approval are primarily

motivated to avoid disapproval (Berger, Levin, Jacobson, &

Milham, 1977). Regardless, people who are highly motivated

to gain approval and/or avoid disapproval should be highly

motivated to make the impression that would allow them to

achieve those goals, and should be more likely to become

shy as a result.

Watson and Friend (1969) have shown that a high Fear of

Negative Evaluation (FNE) score on their Social-Evaluative

Anxiety Scale is also associated with a concern to obtain

social approval and avoid disapproval from others. Compared

to subjects classified as low FNE, high FNE's have been

shown to: work harder on a boring letter-substitution task

when they believed that hard work would be explicitly ap-

proved of by their group leader (Watson & Friend, 1969),

attempt to avoid potentially self-threatening social com-

parison information to a greater degree (Friend & Gilbert,

1973), and prefer to be in a positive asymmetrical relation-

ship (being liked by another more than one likes the other)

rather than a balanced relationship (mutual equal liking)

(Smith & Campbell, 1973). In addition, FNE ;as found to

correlate significantly (+.77, P < .01) with social aproval-

seeking as measured on Jackson's (1966) Personality Research

Form (Watson & Friend, 1969). All of these findings portray

the high FNE individual as being highly motivated to gain








approval and avoid disapproval. Thus, it would be expected

that high FNE's would be more likely to become socially

anxious when their ability to come across well to others was

threatened. Indeed, FNE has been found to correlate sig-

nificantly with Social Avoidance and Distress (r = +.51,

p < .01; Watson & Friend, 1969).1

Doubts About One's Ability to Achieve Satisfactory Reactions

The motivation to make a favorable impression upon

others is hypothesized to be a necessary, but not sufficient,

condition for the occurrence of shyness. Not only must in-

dividuals be motivated to make'a favorable impression, but

they must also doubt that they will be able to do so in a

way that will result in satisfactory reactions from other

interactants.

Two major factors should lead people to doubt their

ability to project images that will result in satisfactory

reactions from others: (a) they find it difficult to de-

termine how to achieve satisfactory reactions, or (b) they

believe they know how others will react to certain self-

presentations, but don't believe they can successfully




As its name implies, the Social Avoidance and Distress
(SAD) Scale (Watson & Friend, 1969) was originally developed
as a measure of subjective anxiety experienced in social en-
counters and the tendency to avoid social situations. How-
ever, a factor analysis by Patterson and Strauss (1972)
found that most of the items on the SAD Scale loaded on an
affiliation-extraversion factor, suggesting that the SAD
taps primarily approach-avoidance tendencies and only
secondarily social anxiety.








convey those images that are likely to result in satisfac-

tory reactions from them.

Uncertainty about how to achieve satisfactory reactions.

Research has shown that people tailor their self-presenta-

tions to the contingencies of the situation and to the

values of those with whom they are interacting (e.g., Jones,

Gergen, & Jones, 1963; Jones, Gergen, Gumpert, & Thibaut,

1965; Jones & Wortman, 1973; Schlenker, 1975, 1980). Thus,

when people are motivated to make a favorable impression,

they usually seek information regarding the types of images

others are likely to value (Schlenker, 1980).

When people believe they know an audience's values and

preferences, they are able to formulate a behavioral plan

that guides their responses during the course of interaction.

Under certain circumstances, however, cues regarding others'

values may be absent, vague, inconsistent, or contradictory.

Uncertain of other interactants' personalities, values, and

probable reactions to certain behaviors, people are unable

to determine how they may achieve satisfactory reactions from

them and are unable to formulate a plan for the interaction.

Without such information and an overriding plan, the possi-

bility of appearing in an unfavorable light and evoking an

undesirable response becomes more salient, and people are

more likely to doubt that they will be able to project a

favorable image. On the other hand, "shyness is less of a

problem in those contexts where influences such as task de-

mands and role requirements remove the ambiguity present in

'unfocused' interpersonal encounters" (Pilkonis, 1977b, p. 604).








Dibner (1958) observed that "anxiety is directly re-

lated to the degree of ambiguity in the situation to which

the individual must make some adjustive reaction . and

. . the probability of uncertainty is greater whenever ex-

ternal conditions are ambiguous" (p. 165). Dibner defined

situational ambiguity in terms of the degree of consensus

that outside observers might reach regarding the interpreta-

tion of the characteristics of a situation. However, ambi-

guity is more than a potential lack of consensus. A group of

observers might all independently agree in their interpreta-

tion of a situation and in their prescriptions regarding

appropriate behavior in it, yet each have low confidence in

his own judgment. Thus, to the individual in a social en-

counter, perceived ambiguity may be regarded as an inverse

function of one's confidence in one's interpretation of the

situation and in decisions regarding how best to respond to

maximize one's own reward/cost ratio in the encounter.

Thus, people should experience shyness when they are

motivated to make a favorable impression upon others, but

are uncertain of how to do so. In support of this, survey

data obtained by Zimbardo (1977) showed that shyness is ex-

perienced quite frequently in novel situations and in en-

counters involving strangers--people about which the indi-

vidual, by definition, knows very little. Buss (1980) ob-

serves that "the most frequent and important situational

cause of shyness appears to be novelty" (p. 187).

In addition, Pilkonis (1976, 1977b) had subjects par-

ticipate in an unstructured face-to-face interaction, then








deliver a speech into a videocamera, a task he conceptualized

as more structured. He found that "shyness was evoked by

ambiguous, unstructured episodes (the same-sex and opposite-

sex interactions), but was less apparent during the struc-

tured episode (the preparation and delivery of the speech)"

(Pilkonis, 1976, p. 96), although it should be noted that

the structured and unstructured episodes in this study

differed on other important variables (one was a face-to-

face interaction, whereas the other was an impersonal deliv-

ery of a prepared speech, for example).

In short, the available evidence seems to support the

hypothesis that ambiguity regarding how best to respond in

order to achieve satisfactory reactions may result in

heightened shyness. However, the evidence is minimal at

best and this hypothesis merits additional research.

Uncertainty about how to respond and about what images

to project may also arise when other interactants respond in

an unexpected or counternormative fashion. When this occurs,

the interaction itself is disrupted and the individual is

forced to respond to a situation for which he/she has no

readily available cognitive script (Abelson, 1976). Geller,

Goodstein, Silver, and Sternberg (1974) exposed subjects

to a situation in which they were ignored during a face-to-

face interaction by two confederates who talked freely to one

another. Under such circumstances, subjects reported that

the situation was highly ambiguous, that they were unsure of

how to respond, and that they felt shy.









Similarly, when another interactant invokes social

norms to which the individual is unwilling or unable to

respond, uncertainty arises regarding how to behave. For

example, a norm of reciprocity surrounds the disclosure of

personal information, such that, when one interactant is

self-disclosing, others are expected.to follow suit (Derlega,

Wilson, & Chaikin, 1976). If this norm is unexpectedly in-

voked by the inappropriate disclosures of another, the in-

dividual may not know how best to respond and may feel

shy (cf. Buss, 1980).

Certain individual differences may exacerbate the prob-

lems encountered in ambiguous situations or lead certain

people to interpret a larger number of social situations

as ambiguous. First, there are differences in people's

sensitiveness to social cues regarding appropriate or de-

sirable behavior (e.g., Snyder, 1974). People who are more

adept at analyzing social situations for cues regarding ap-

propriate demeanor should be better at assessing how to

respond to achieve satisfactory reactions from others and,

thus, less likely to experience anxiety from not knowing how

to respond. Although the meaning of scores obtained on the

Self-Monitoring Scale (Snyder, 1974) has recently been called

into question (Briggs, Cheek, & Buss, 1980; Gabrenya & Arkin,

1980; Silver, Leary, & Schlenker, 1980), it would be pre-

dicted that people who are higher in the ability to glean

cues regarding how to respond and adjust their behavior







accordingly (i.e., high self-monitoring ability) would be

less likely to feel shy and inhibited in social encounters.

In support of this, Pilkonis (1977a) found self-moni-

toring ability to correlate negatively with self-reported

shyness, although the correlation was significant only for

males (r = -.25, P < .05). Ickes and Barnes (1977) examined

the differences in the behavior of high and low self-moni-

tors in unstructured interactions, and found that high self-

monitors were more likely to initiate the conversation with

the other subject and were rated as more relaxed than lows.

In addition, unpublished data by Lippa (reported in Ickes &

Barnes, 1977) show a significant positive correlation be-

tween self-monitoring and extraversion.

Second, there are likely to be individual differences

in people's ability to respond "off the cuff"--that is,

without well-formulated interaction plans. Some people

appear quite able to fit into almost any social encounter,

whereas others are socially paralyzed in the face of social

uncertainty.

When people are uncertain of how to behave in order to

make a favorable impression on others, they are likely to

show signs of hesitancy, reticence, awkwardness, withdrawal

and/or avoidance. At the extreme, uncertainty and its ac-

companying anxiety may be great enough to result in social

paralysis (cf. Kelley, 1967; Jones & Gerard, 1967). The shy

individual may stand silent, thoughts racing, but unable to

respond. McGovern (1976, p. 94) notes that, "the response









of no response may be a learned method of coping with am-

biguity and time pressure for these [highly socially anxious]

individuals." Similarly, Philips (1968) suggests that chron-

ic reticence may be caused by reticent individuals "not know-

ing the rules" in certain social situations.

In some cases, the individual in a socially ambiguous

encounter may attempt to project innocuous images that would

be expected to be at least minimally acceptable to most peo-

ple, such as smiling and attempting to appear interested and

friendly. In this way, the person avoids projecting images

that may be inappropriate and that may result in unsatis-

factory reactions. "When the socially cautious person does

participate, the content of his contribution is generally

'safe.' He waits until he has learned what kind of comment

his 'audience' will appreciate, or restricts his remarks to

the patently nonoffensive" (Efran & Korn, 1969, p. 78). By

responding noncommitally, the shy individual bides time as

he or she attempts to glean cues that will suggest how best

to come across to other interactants, and keeps attention

off him- or herself by prompting other interactants, via

questions and apparent interest, to continue talking about

themselves.

To summarize, any factor that makes it difficult for

people to formulate an interaction plan and to decide how to

best maximize their social outcomes should result in shyness.

Doubts about one's self-presentational ability. Ascer-

taining the nature of the image likely to produce satisfactory








reactions from others is only one-half of the task faced by

an individual wishing to make a favorable impression. Once

the individual believes he or she knows how to respond ap-

propriately, such images must then be successfully conveyed.

The distinction here is between formulating a plan for ac-

tion and successfully implementing the plan. Thus, individ-

uals may experience shyness because they doubt their ability

to present themselves to others in ways that will result in

hedonically satisfactory outcomes.

First, people may entertain doubts about the quality

of their interaction plans and lack confidence that their

plans, no matter how well executed, will result in desired

reactions. For example, learning that a young lady takes a

great deal of pride in her tennis-playing ability, a male

suitor may wish to compliment her strong serve and decides

to do so, but mulls over the possibility that she will at-

tribute his comment to mere ingratiation or even baser mo-

tives. Any factor that causes people to doubt the efficacy

of their plans in producing satisfactory outcomes should in-

crease the likelihood that they will become shy.

Second, even when people have what they believe are

cogent plans for the accomplishment of their interaction

goals, they may doubt their ability to execute those plans.

That is, they may doubt their ability to appear to others

in ways that will result in satisfactory outcomes. People

should doubt their ability to claim valued images successfully

when: (a) they don't believe they really possess the








attributes that allow them to meet the requirements for

claiming the image and these deficiencies would come to the

attention of other interactants if a particular self-pres-

entation was attempted, or (b) they believe they don't have

the expressive skills necessary to convey the image irre-

spective of whether or not they privately believe they meet

the requirements of the image.

Since people who fail to live up to the images they

present to others are negatively sanctioned (Goffman, 1959;

Schlenker, 1980), people tend to refrain from projecting im-

pressions that are likely to be publicly repudiated by the

"facts" (Baumeister & Jones, 1978; Schlenker, 1975). Thus,

in a situation in which projecting particular valued images

would require dissimulation that may result in social reper-

cussions, people will generally conclude that they are un-

able to claim the image and, if motivated to make a favor-

able impression, should feel shy. They may either believe

that they can not claim the image at all or that they are

unable to present themselves as possessing an adequate quan-

tity of the attribute (by appearing extremely competent, for

example) to make a sufficiently favorable impression upon

other interactants.

In addition, in some cases people may privately believe

that they possess the attributes that, if perceived by

others, would result in satisfactory reactions, but believe

they lack the expressive skills to convince others they

actually possess those attributes. When people believe








they have the "right" to legitimately present certain images

of themselves, but feel their self-presentations may be un-

successful due to deficiencies in requisite social or ex-

pressive skills, they should feel shy. It is doubtful that

people phenomenologically distinguish between not having an

attribute and not having the expressive skills to convey the

image of having the attribute. To the shy individual, ei-

ther case is perceived as the inability to come across well

to others.

A good deal of research has documented the relationship

between the belief that one lacks valuable social attributes

and feelings of social anxiety. Efran and Korn (1969)

showed that socially "cautious" subjects held lower expec-

tations of success on a variety of social and verbal tasks

than socially "bolder'" subjects, but that the two groups did

not differ in their expectations of success on intellectual,

athletic, or artistic pursuits. This suggests that the con-

cerns of socially anxious individuals are specific to social

deficiencies. In a comparison of high and low socially

anxious students identified by Watson and Friend's (1969)

Social Avoidance and Distress Scale, Cacioppo, Glass, and

Merluzzi (1979) found that highly anxious subjects rated

themselves more negatively, generated more negative self-

statements in a thought-listing task, and rated themselves

as less potent and active than low anxiety subjects.

Interestingly, socially anxious people's negative eval-

uations are confined to themselves. Although they









underestimate the quality of their social skills compared

to observers' ratings of them and to low anxiety people's

self-evaluations, low and high anxiety subjects (along with

external observers) have been shown to agree in their ap-

praisals of a confederate's social ability (Clark & Arko-

witz, 1975). Thus, the tendency for shy people to under-

estimate their social performances is not likely to be due

to a generalized set to see the social world negatively.

A number of studies have shown that counseling para-

digms designed to reduce negative self-evaluations are effec-

tive in reducing social anxiety (e.g., Clark & Arkowitz,

1975; Meichenbaum, Gilmore, & Fedoravicius, 1971; Sanchez-

Craig, 1976; Sherman, Mulac, & McCann, 1974). For example,

Rehm and Marston (1968, p. 573) taught shy subjects to re-

place negative self-evaluations with cognitive self-rein-

forcement for appropriate social responses and found a de-

crease of anxiety in dating encounters. They concluded that

"negative self-evaluation is a primary cue for anxiety" and

that reduction of negative self-evaluations and the imposi-

tion of self-reinforcement should reduce social anxiety.

While this may be true, what has not often been made

clear is that the multitude of negative self-statements one

might make (e.g., "I'm not a good date/speaker/dancer/stu-

dent/conversationalist/etc.") generally reflect not only

self-evaluations, but concerns with how one is appearing to

others. Thus, the present self-presentational approach to

shyness would propose that it is not self-evaluation per se








that is critical in the genesis of shyness, but the belief

that real or imagined others may evaluate oneself negatively.

Self-evaluation and anticipated public evaluation are,

of course, ordinarily confounded in real-life situations.

The individual who evaluates him- or herself negatively is

likely to expect that others will also. Nevertheless, we

may at least imagine the 'two cases of (a) an individual who

regards himself very negatively but expects others in a par-

ticular encounter to regard him positively, or (b) an indi-

vidual who regards himself positively but expects others to

regard him negatively. The first individual (a), despite

negative self-evaluations, should not feel shy; the second

one (b), despite positive self-evaluations, should. In short,

the critical factor in shyness (and other social anxieties)

is one's perceived ability to project images that will re-

sult in satisfactory reactions from others, and not merely

one's own self-image.

Even when one's interaction plans and one's ability to

execute them are, in the abstract, beyond question, one must

still contend with the responses of other interactants.

Thus, people who doubt their ability to respond quickly and

appropriately in an ad lib fashion, or who question their

flexibility or their ability to respond contingently/reac-

tively to others, should be more likely to feel shy in con-

tingent interactions. Most of us have observed a confident

and eloquent speaker who appears fully in control during his

oration, but who falters nervously when entertaining questions








from the audience or when dealing with others on a one-to-

one basis. Such a person may be confident of his ability

to execute a well-structured and rehearsed plan (i.e.,

speech) in a noncontingent situation, but doubt his ability

to make appropriate remarks in response to others' behavior.

Shyness should be exacerbated by situational and per-

sonality factors that, for whatever reason, cause people to

doubt their ability to project images that will result in

satisfactory reactions from others. One such set of factors

is the characteristics of those with whom one is interacting.

Shyness should be greater when one is interacting with crit-

ical, evaluative others than with supportive, nonevaluative

ones, since the probability of receiving satisfactory re-

actions is greater in the latter than former case. Indeed,

people report greater anxiety when interacting with eval-

uative audiences and authorities (Zimbardo, 1977).1

As mentioned previously, perceived personal deficiencies,

whether real or imagined, may lead people to doubt their a-

bility to appear well to others. In as much as this is the

case, people with lower self-esteem, who tend to perceive


1As an aside, most psychologists, whatever their area
of training, have had the experience of people expressing
a degree of trepidation upon interacting with them because
of the popular view that psychologists can "read minds."
Presumably, because of the public's belief that psycholo-
gists are able to "analyze" people regarding their true
personality, motives, desires, feelings, etc., people feel
unable to project images that will result in satisfactory
reactions from them. An interesting hypothesis is that the
average person is more likely to experience shyness when
interacting with a psychologist or psychiatrist than most
other professionals.








themselves less favorably and assume others do as well (e.g.,

Walster, 1965), would be expected to be more shy across en-

counters. In support of this hypothesis, Zimbardo (1977)

and Cheek and Buss (1980) report significant negative corre-

lations between self-esteem and shyness (r's = -.48 and -.51

for Zimbardo and Cheek & Buss, respectively, 's < .01).

Similarly, people with previous failures in the social arena

may come to doubt that they are able to obtain satisfactory

reactions from others. Once they have had unpleasant experi-

ences and received negative evaluations from others, they

may come to anticipate failure in similar situations.

In contrast to the above, there are instances in which

people privately believe they don't meet the requirements

for claiming certain attractive images, but believe they

have the expressive ability to convey such impressions to

others anyway. People who are motivated to make a favorable

impression have been shown to exaggerate positive self-pres-

entations when they believe there is only a small likelihood

that their claimed images will be repudiated by contradic-

tory information (Baumeister & Jones, 1978; Schlenker, 1975).

When people believe that they can project images that will

produce satisfactory reactions and their claims will likely

go unchallenged, they should not feel shy even though they

know the self-presentations to be inaccurate. Of course,

the greater the possibility that nonveridical self-presen-

tations will be discovered and negatively sanctioned by

others, the more likely the individual will doubt that he/








she will be able to appear well and the more shy one should

feel.

To summarize, shyness is hypothesized to be a joint

function of the motivation to make a favorable impression

on others and doubts about one's ability to appear to others

in ways that will result in satisfactory reactions from

them. People may doubt their ability to come across well

to others either when they are unable to determine how to

respond in a particular encounter or when they know how

to respond, but feel unable to do so.

Behavioral Accompaniments of Shyness

If, as has been proposed above, shyness arises due to

concerns with how one is appearing to others, we would ex-

pect many of the behavioral manifestations of shyness to re-

flect such concerns. Do the behaviors that typically ac-

company shyness appear to arise from self-presentational

concerns?

Clearly, many of the behaviors that accompany subjective

shyness are not interpersonal in nature. Many physiolog-

ical changes, such as increased pulse, blood pressure, GSR,

and muscular tension, are simply concomitants of any

aroused, autonomic state.

The relationship between shyness and overt behaviors

(those clearly observable to other interactants) is more

complex. Because the appearance of nervousness is normally

negatively evaluated in our culture, most people will attempt

to conceal their anxiety, with the result that the affective








state of a social interactant is not always obvious to out-

side observers (Knight & Borden, 1978), whether they be

other interactants or social psychologists. Research has

shown there is only minimal to moderate congruence between

observers' ratings of an individual's apparent social anxiety

and ratings of subjectively experienced anxiety made by the

individual himself (Clevinger, 1959; Farrell, Mariotto,

Conger, Curran, & Wallander, 1979; Mulac & Sherman, 1975),

and this is true even when the observers are trained speech

teachers judging their students (Dickens, Gibson, & Prall,

1950). The largest correlation between subjects' self-re-

ports and observers' ratings of shyness was obtained by Pil-

konis (1977b): +.58. In general, observers tend to under-

estimate, rather than overestimate,others' subjective

anxiety (Clevinger, 1959; Dickens et al., 1950).

These findings are noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

First, there is little reason to expect a close correspondence

between self-reports of experienced shyness and behavioral

manifestations of it, so that there is no sure way to de-

termine from an individual's grosser, overt behaviors wheth-

er or not he or she is presently shy. (Even so, certain be-

havioral patterns do tend to accompany shyness, as will be

discussed below.) Second, if people tend to underestimate

others' subjective anxiety, they may conclude that they

themselves experience a greater degree of shyness in social

encounters than most other people. When it occurs in a sit-

uation in which the individual is socially anxious, such a








belief may itself evoke anxiety that exacerbates the original

problem (Storms & McCaul, 1976).

The most commonly reported manifestation of shyness is

a reluctance to speak freely in interactions (Zimbardo,

1977). Compared to nonshy individuals, shy people are more

hesitant to initiate conversations, speak less frequently,

speak a smaller percentage of the time, allow more silences

to develop during conversations, and are less likely to

break them (Pilkonis, 1976, 1977b). Also, highly socially

anxious people write less on self-disclosure questionnaires,

and engage in less intimate self-disclosure than people who

are low in social anxiety (Post, Wittmaier, & Radin, 1978).

Taken together, these studies portray the shy person as

reluctant to engage in verbal interaction, hesitant to in-

itiate conversations and keep them going, and, in general,

participating as little as possible in verbal exchanges,

especially ones dealing with self-relevent topics.

There is no a priori reason to expect shy individuals

to decrease their verbal output. Why do socially anxious

people respond in this way? Philips (1968) notes that reti-

cence arises when people's anxiety about participating in

verbal interactions with others outweighs their expectation

of gain from the encounter and that reticence may serve to

exempt the individual from full participation in anxiety-

producing situations. Consider the plight of shy people:

they are motivated to make a favorable impression upon

others, but doubt that they will be able to appear in such








a way that others will respond favorably to them. Given

such an interactional dilemma, reticence may be regarded as

an appropriate and rational interpersonal strategy. When

people believe they can not come across well to others no

matter what they might do, they have nothing to gain and

much to lose, and would be best off to do and say little or

nothing at all. Even though nothing may be done to allow

the individual to be perceived positively, this tactic helps

the individual to avoid patently negative evaluations.

A study by Taylor, Altman, and Sorrentino (1969) clear-

ly documented the relationship between negative interperson-

al evaluations and decreased verbal output. Under conditions

of negative interpersonal feedback, their subjects spoke

less, talked about fewer aspects of themselves, and were

less self-disclosing than subjects receiving positive feed-

back. Extrapolating to the present model, it seems likely

that this tact would also be employed by shy individuals,

to whom the possibility of less than satisfactory responses

from others is highly salient.

In a review of the literature regarding the relation-

ship between anxiety and speech, Murray (1971) concluded

that anxiety and speech are curvilinearly related as an

inverse-U function. Anxiety and speech are positively re-

lated to some asymptote, but speech decreases with increas-

ing anxiety beyond that point. Although a wide variety of

stressful stimuli have been used in these studies (e.g.,









threat of electric shock, negative evaluations from others,

public speaking situations, stimulus deprivation, anxiety-

producing conversational topics), they have generally been

regarded merely as alternative ways to evoke anxiety.

However, the implicit assumption that all anxiety-

producing stimuli are functionally equivalent vis-a-vis

their effects on speech overlooks the fact that, in some

cases, changes in speech behavior reflect not only an effect

of autonomic arousal per se, but also serve personal or in-

terpersonal functions for the anxious individual. In cases

in which the precipitating stimuli are social in nature, the

individual is likely to fear receiving negative reactions

from others, and changes in verbal output may reflect the

individual's attempt to maintain the best possible social

image under the circumstances. If the shy individual be-

lieves that he or she is likely to evoke unsatisfactory re-

actions from others by talking to them, verbal output should

decrease. Under some circumstances, however, the anxious

individual may perceive that failing to interact is more

likely to result in unsatisfactory reactions than is inter-

acting poorly. In such cases, we might expect verbal output

to remain stable or to increase. The relationship between

shyness and speech appears to be quite complex and warrants

future attention.

As with verbal behaviors, we would expect the nonverbal

behaviors of shy people to reflect the attempt to present









the best possible social images of themselves to others

under circumstances in which they do not think they will

be regarded favorably by others. The few available findings

support this notion. Pilkonis (1976, 1977b) found that

self-reported shyness in an interaction was positively re-

lated to both smiling and head nodding. Natale, Jaffe, and

Entin (1979) found social anxiety to be negatively correlated

with verbal interruptions of another's speech and positively

correlated with "back channel responses"--the brief inter-

jections a listener makes while another is speaking to

indicate that he/she is attentively listening (e.g., "uh-

huh"). In each of these cases, the target behavior (smil-

ing, nodding, not interrupting, back channel responding)

may be conceived of as an attempt to appear friendly and

interested when one believes that more complete participa-

tion in the encounter is likely to result in negative re-

actions from others.

Taken as a whole, such behaviors may serve at least

four interpersonal functions. First, they allow the indi-

vidual to maintain an innocuously sociable image that is at

least minimally acceptable to most audiences and forestall

possible negative consequences that might result from do-

ing or saying something that will reflect poorly upon the

individual. Second, they help the individual conceal his

or her anxiety and overt manifestations of it (e.g., trem-

bling, awkwardness) that might become obvious to others if

the individual attempted to engage fully in the encounter.








If nothing else, the individual is able to maintain the

impression that he or she is poised and under control

(Kaplan, 1972). Third, the individual is able to direct

attention from him- or herself to other interactants by

paying a good deal of friendly interest in what they are

saying. Finally, such behaviors may serve as stalling

tactics that allow the individual to examine the situation

more closely in order to determine how to respond appropri-

ately before committing him- or herself to a line of action.

The individual may thus bide time as he/she surmises how

best to respond to make a favorable impression and achieve

satisfactory reactions.

The fact that shyness appears to be associated with

decreased amounts of eye contact (Pilkonis, 1977b; Zimbardo,

1977) seems to contradict the suggestion made above that

the nonverbal behavior of shy people is designed to present

them as favorably as possible to others. However, decreased

eye contact might best be regarded as a form of psycholog-

ical withdrawal from stressful situations, similar to that

which occurs following an embarrassing situation (Modig-

liani, 1971). There is also some evidence that people en-

gage in more contact with those from whom they expect ap-

proval (Efran, 1968). Since people in a shyness-producing

situation are not expecting approval from others, their

lower amount of eye contact may simply reflect a lower base-

line of visual attention than that of people in an encounter

in which they expect satisfactory reactions from others.








In extreme cases, shyness may result in complete with-

drawal from or avoidance of certain interactions (Zimbardo,

1977). These are likely to be situations in which the in-

dividual believes that remaining in the situation will re-

sult in a decline in the positivity of his or her public

image and in negative reactions from.others. Such with-

drawal from anxiety-producing situations removes the in-

dividual from the face-threatening encounter before all

poise is lost and, if the exit is executed gracefully and

with justification, may even help the individual's image

(as when one claims to have another important engagement in

order to leave a party).

The behaviors discussed above are the typical behavioral

accompaniments of shyness. However, for a given individual,

shyness is not always accompanied by blatant, shylike be-

haviors, such as quietness, awkwardness, or reduced eye

contact. Some people are able to maintain a convincing

facade of confidence and composure despite private misgiv-

ings about their ability to project valued images of them-

selves in a particular encounter. Thus, there is not a

perfect relationship between the experience of shyness and

behavioral manifestations of it, and all shy people will

not be perceived as such by outside observers. However,

when group data are examined in the context of research,

we would expect people who are exposed to situations de-

signed to heighten self-presentational concerns to, on the








average, exhibit more shylike behaviors and be rated more

shy by others than people who are exposed to variables de-

signed to minimize such concerns.

To summarize, many of the behaviors that tend to accom-

pany shyness may be conceived of as devices for making the

best out of a bad self-presentational situation. Given

that shy people doubt that they will come across well no

matter what they do, it is reasonable for them to remain as

quiet as possible, engage in innocuously friendly behaviors

that are likely to be minimally acceptable to nearly everyone,

or to withdraw from the encounter when they feel unable to

retain the appearance of poise. It should be noted that

one possible consequence of such friendly behaviors is that,

in some cases, shy people may be perceived by others as

more friendly, interested, approving, and involved than

people who are not shy.

Summary and Experimental Hypotheses

To summarize the theory presented here: shyness arises

as a function of two factors, the motivation to make a favor-

able impression upon others and doubts about one's ability

to do so in a way that results in satisfactory reactions

from them. These factors are proposed to be multiplica-

tively related such that shyness is minimal as either

approaches zero, but intensifies rapidly as both factors in-

crease. Any situational or personality variable that in-

creases either or both of these conditions is hypothesized

to increase the potential for the individual to feel shy

in that particular encounter.








The present study examined the effects of three such

variables upon shyness. Subjects identified as high or low

in Fear of Negative Evaluation (Watson & Friend, 1969)

were led to believe that the possession of a particular

(bogus) trait was associated with the ability to make favor-

able impressions upon others. The nature of this trait and

its accompanying behaviors was either described to subjects

or remained highly ambiguous. Thus, subjects either did or

did not know how they could behave in order to make a highly

favorable impression. Based upon a bogus personality test,

subjects were then given feedback indicating that they were

high, average, or low on this trait or they were given no

information about their ability to make good first impres-

sions. Subjects then interacted with another individual

for five minutes, after which they completed self-report

measures tapping, among other things, shyness. In addition,

the subject was rated by the other individual regarding

apparent shyness and other measures, and recorded tapes of

subjects' conversations were coded for indices of shyness.

Based upon the theory presented above, it was predicted

that:

a. Self-reported shyness, others' ratings of shyness,

and verbal indices of shyness would increase as a function

of Fear of Negative Evaluation, the ambiguity of the image

ostensibly associated with making good impressions, and the

negativity of the feedback regarding one's ability to make

good impressions. Because these factors are proposed to be




46



multiplicatively related to shyness, the theory would pre-

dict (statistically speaking) a main effect of each factor,

three two-way interactions, and a three-way interaction of

the variables on measures of shyness.

b. Subjects' reported shyness would be correlated

with their expressed self-presentational and evaluation

concerns.


M














CHAPTER II

METHOD


Subjects

One-hundred and twenty-eight male and 128 female under-

graduate students served as subjects in partial fulfillment

of the experimental participation requirement of an intro-

ductory psychology course. They were run in same-sex pairs

by one of two male or two female experimenters.
Procedure

The two subjects in each experimental session initially

reported to separate rooms to prevent them from conversing

with one another prior to the start of the study. After

both subjects had arrived, the experimenter escorted them

into the laboratory and seated them in chairs that were

spaced .51 m. (20 in.) apart (at the nearest front legs) and

angled toward one another at 1000. A microphone on a floor

stand stood .56 m. (22 in.) directly in front of each chair.

Because the responses of two interacting subjects are

not independent, it was decided that only one subject per

session (randomly designated as the experimental subject)

would receive the experimental manipulations and complete

the dependent self-report measures. The other (nonexperi-

mental) subject received no manipulations, but otherwise









participated fully in the experiment as described below

and subsequently provided ratings of the experimental

subject.

Subjects were told that the study was an investigation

of certain factors that affect the kinds of first impressions

people form of one another when they.first meet. Subjects

were informed that they would first complete a background

information questionnaire, then interact with one another

in a five-minute "getting acquainted" conversation. After-

wards, they would complete questionnaires on which they

would rate and give their impressions of one another. The

use of this cover story was designed to insure that sub-

jects were at least moderately motivated to make a favorable

impression upon one another during the five-minute conver-

sation. The initial instructions given to subjects may be

found in Appendix A.

After signing informed consent slips, subjects were

placed in separate rooms to complete the "background" ques-

tionnaire. The questionnaire consisted of Watson and

Friend's (1969) Fear of Negative Evaluation (FNE) and Social

Avoidance and Distress (SAD) scales, and a shyness self-

report item. The FNE is a 30 item true-false scale that

measures apprehension about others' evaluations and distress

over receiving negative evaluations from others. The SAD

is a 28 item, true-false scale that measures the degree to

which respondents experience anxiety and distress in social

encounters and tend to avoid or withdraw prematurely from








social interactions. Both scales have high internal con-

sistency (.94 for both FNE and SAD) and adequate test-

retest reliability (.78 for FNE, .68 for SAD) and strong

evidence of construct and predictive validity (e.g., Friend

& Gilbert, 1973; Smith & Saranson, 1975; Watson & Friend,

1969).

In addition, subjects were asked to respond to the

item, "In general, how shy of a person do you consider your-

self to be," on a 15-point scale with six scale labels.

Pilkonis (1976, 1977a, 1977b) found this item to be quite

effective in discriminating individual differences in

"chronic" shyness. The full introductory questionnaire may

be found in Appendix B.

After subjects completed the questionnaire, they were

given instruction sheets (see Appendix C) explaining the

second phase of the study. The instructions given to the

nonexperimental subject merely stated that the subjects

would momentarily interact with one another for five minutes,

afterwards completing questionnaires giving their impres-

sions of each other. Subjects were admonished not to talk

about the study in progress, but, otherwise, told that they

could discuss whatever they wished. This prevented subjects

from learning they were serving in different conditions of

the design.

In addition to the above information, the instruction

sheet given to experimental subjects explained that the

present study was investigating a (ficticious) trait called








adaptive differentiation, that had purportedly.been found

to be an important determinant of the kinds of first im-

pressions people make on each other. Experimental subjects

were told that people who rank high in adaptive differentia-

tion tend to be better liked, make more favorable impres-

sions, are evaluated more positively by others, and so

forth. The sheet also noted that the researchers expected

people who are high in adaptive differentiation to be eval-

uated more positively and liked better by other subjects in

the present study than those low in adaptive differentiation.

In addition, the instruction sheet introduced the image

ambiguity manipulation. After being told that adaptive

differentiation is associated with making good first impres-

sions, subjects in the high ambiguity condition were simply

told that further discussion of the trait would be withheld

until the conclusion of the study. Subjects in the low

ambiguity condition were told that people who are high in

adaptive differentiation tend to be interested in other

people, smile frequently, are optimistic, open-minded, and

appear well-adjusted to others. These behaviors were selec-

ted as ostensibly associated with adaptive differentiation

because (a) they are not uncommon ones for interacting

strangers to perform so that subjects in the high ambiguity

condition might be as likely to perform them as those in

the low ambiguity condition, and (b) they are simple enough

that most people could attempt to appear in such ways if

they desired. Thus, subjects in the low ambiguity condition








believed that they had some idea of how to appear adaptively

differentiated if they so desired, whether or not they

actually ranked high in the trait.

After an appropriate delay, the experimenter returned

to the experimental subject only and, explaining that most

subjects are interested in how they performed on the initial

questionnaire, he/she had quickly scored the subjects' re-

sponses. The experimenter then gave the subject a score-

sheet (see Appendix D) ostensibly reflecting their scores

on the questionnaire, but explained that he/she could not

discuss the subjects' scores in detail until the conclusion

of the study. These scoresheets contained the feedback ma-

nipulation.

For subjects in the high, average, and low feedback

conditions, the scoresheets contained three scores, each

expressed as a percentile. Two of the scores, labeled

"thematicism" and "interpersonal acuity" were included

merely as filler items and always showed the scores of 56

and 83, respectively. The third score on the sheets was

labeled "adaptive differentiation," the same trait that sub-

jects believed was associated with making favorable impres-

sions upon others. Subjects in the high feedback condition

received an adaptive differentiation score of 931, those in

the average feedback condition a score of 60%, and those in

the low feedback condition a score of 23%. In addition, one-

fourth of the subjects received no feedback regarding their








adaptive differentiation scores, although they received

the other two filler scores (no feedback condition).

After experimental subjects had viewed their score-

sheets, both subjects were brought together and told they

would be allowed to interact for five minutes while the

experimenter left the room. After reminding subjects that

they would give their impressions of one another after the

conversation, the experimenter started the tape recorder

and left the room.

At the end of five minutes, the experimenter returned,

placed the subjects in separate rooms again, and administered

the questionnaires containing the dependent measures. For

the experimental subject, this questionnaire (see Appendix

E) asked how shy and relaxed the subject felt during the

conversation, how good of an impression the subjects thought

they had made on the other person, how hard subjects tried

to appear adaptively differentiated, how concerned subjects

had been with making a good impression on the other subject,

how well subjects felt they were able to control the im-

pressions the other subject formed of them, how shy they

thought the other subject was, and how much they liked

the other subject. Two additional items assessed the effec-

tiveness of the manipulations. All questions were answered

on 15-point scales.

The questionnaire for the nonexperimental subjects (see

Appendix F) asked how shy they thought the other (i.e., ex-

perimental) subject was, how relaxed the other subject







appeared, how much they liked the other subject, how pos-

itive their overall impression of the other subject was,

how comfortable they felt interacting with the other sub-

ject, and how much eye contact the other subject gave them

during the conversation. All questions were answered on 15-

point scales. In addition, they were asked to rate the ex-

perimental subjects on six 7-point bipolar adjective scales:

optimistic/pessimistic, open-minded/close-minded, poorly

adjusted/well adjusted, smiled a lot/did not smile at all,

friendly/unfriendly, and interested in others/not interested

in others. These adjectives tapped the characteristics that

had been described to subjects in the low ambiguity condition

as indicative of adaptively differentiated people in order

to determine whether the content of the ambiguity manipu-

lation systematically affected subjects' behavior.

After subjects completed their respective questionnaires,

they were brought together and fully debriefed, with the

major hypotheses and the necessity of all deceptions ex-

plained in detail.

The tapes of the subjects' conversations were coded by

trained judges for four measures: (a) which subject broke

the initial silence after the experimenter left the room,

(b) the length of time each subject talked, (c) the number

of questions each subject asked the other, and (d) the

judges' ratings of how shy each subject sounded to them.













CHAPTER III

RESULTS


As described above, three kinds of data were collected

regarding the experimental subjects: self-reports on the

post-interaction questionnaire, ratings by nonexperimental

subjects, and verbal responses coded from tapes of the five-

minute conversations. Each of these will be discussed in

turn. Unless otherwise indicated, reported analyses are for

2 (low/high FNE) X 2 (low/high ambiguity) X 4 (low/average/

high/no feedback) unweighted-means analyses of variance.1

Manipulation Checks and FNE Data

Ambiguity Manipulation

An analysis of variance performed on subjects' responses

to the question, "How clear is it to you how people who are

high in adaptive differentiation tend to act?," revealed

only a main effect of image ambiguity, F (1, 111) = 5.49,

p < .02. As hoped, subjects in the low ambiguity condition

(M = 9.9) indicated that it was significantly more clear to

them how adaptively differentiated people tend to act than

subjects in the high ambiguity condition (M = 8.5), thus

demonstrating the effectiveness of the ambiguity manipulation.


1The number of subjects serving in each cell of the
design may be found in Appendix G.








It should be noted, however, that even subjects in the low

ambiguity condition indicated that it was only "moderately

clear" to them how adaptively differentiated people tend to

act, a reasonable response given what they had been told

about the trait.

Feedback Manipulation

Subjects' responses'to the feedback manipulation check,

"How high would you rate yourself on adaptive differentiation?,"

revealed no effects of feedback, either alone or in inter-

action with other variables. The failure of the feedback

manipulation to affect the manipulation check item is,

of course, problematic.

There are a number of reasons why this may have occurred,

in addition to the obvious possibility that the feedback ma-

nipulation itself did not work. First, it is possible that

subjects may have interpreted the manipulation check as

reading, "How high would you rate yourself on adaptive dif-

ferentiation?," so that their responses to it reflected their

own estimates of their level of adaptive differentiation,

irrespective of the feedback they received. Even if this is

the case, however, it indicates that subjects did not place

enough stock in their adaptive differentiation scores to in-

corporate that information into their self-ratings of adap-

tive differentiation.

Alternatively, subjects in the low feedback condition

may have dismissed their low adaptive differentiation scores

as either bogus or inaccurate. However, no cases of









suspiciousness were observed, and subjects in the low feed-

back cell often appeared genuinely relieved when they later

learned that their feedback scores were bogus, thus casting

doubt upon this possibility.

A third possible explanation for the failure of the

manipulation check is that, although.experimental subjects

initially accepted the feedback as veridical, subsequent

interaction with the other subject, which was nearly always

pleasant, may have convinced subjects in the low feedback

condition that they had made a reasonably good impression

after all, diminishing the effects of low feedback. Analy-

sis of the item, "How good of an impression do you think you

made on the other subject?," also revealed no effects of the

feedback manipulation, indicating that there was no relation-

ship between the bogus feedback subjects received and how

they later perceived they came across during the interaction.

As will be seen, despite the failure of the manipula-

tion check, effects of feedback (in interaction with other

variables) were obtained on a number of items, particularly

ratings by nonexperimental subjects and experimental sub-

jects' verbal responses as coded from the tapes. Thus, al-

though the manipulation was weak and had little effect on

experimental subjects' self-reports, it seems to have been

strong enough to have some type of effect on certain de-

pendent measures.

Although no effects of feedback were obtained on the

feedback manipulation check, a main effect of image ambiguity








was obtained on this item, F (1, 111) = 6.26, p < .02.

Examination of means shows that low ambiguity subjects (M =

10.5) rated themselves higher on adaptive differentiation

than high ambiguity subjects (M = 9.6). What this indicates

is that, without additional information regarding the nature

of adaptive differentiation, subjects in the high ambiguity

condition were more moderate or cautious in their self-

ratings, whereas low ambiguity subjects, who knew how adap-

tively differentiated people tend to act, rated themselves

higher on the trait. The implications of this main effect

of ambiguity for the interpretation of other effects will

become clear as we proceed.

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the success of

the feedback manipulation in altering subjects' perceptions

of their abilities to make favorable impressions, it seems

that a useful secondary analysis would be to split subjects

into groups in terms of their self-ratings of adaptive dif-

ferentiation (as indicated on the manipulation check item)

and analyze the relationship between the perception of one's

standing on a trait ostensibly associated with making good

impressions and the dependent measures. Although such an

analysis precludes drawing causal interpretations of the

data, it may serve to provide additional information about

the relationship between the belief that one has the ability

to come across well to others and shyness. Such an analysis

will be discussed at several points below.








Fear of Negative Evaluation: Subject Data

Subjects' scores on the Fear of Negative Evaluation

Scale spanned the entire possible range from 0 to 30, with

a mean of 13.6, a standard deviation of 7.64, and a median

of 16. This compares to Watson and Friend's (1969) norms

of a mean of 15.5, standard deviation of 8.62, and median

of 16. Kudar-Richardson 20 test of homogeneity revealed a

reliability coefficient of .92, which is quite close to the

KR-20 of .94 obtained by Watson and Friend.

A median split was performed on subjects' FNE scores

(subjects falling on the median were classified with those

below it) and subjects identified as either low (n = 68) or

high (n = 60) in FNE. Subjects' standing on the FNE scale

(low or high) was subsequently entered in the analyses below.

Experimental Subjects' Self-Reports

Self-Reports of Shyness and Relaxation

It was predicted that subjects' self-reports of shyness

and relaxation would vary as a function of feedback, image

ambiguity, and FNE. Analysis of subjects' responses to the

item, "How shy did you feel during the conversation?,"

showed only the predicted main effect of FNE, although it

failed to reach a conventional level of significance, F (1,

11?) = 2.92, j < .00. (The product-moment correlation


1As a rule of thumb, alpha was set at the conventional
level of .05. However, results with an obtained signifi-
cance of p < .10 will be reported if they involve predicted
effects.








between subjects' FNE scores and self-reported shyness was

+.28, E < .001. ) Contrary to predictions, no other effects

of the independent variables were obtained on this item.

Subjects were also asked, "How relaxed did you feel

during the conversation?" It should be noted that shyness

and relaxation should not be regarded as purely opposite

experiences. Although all shy people should generally re-

port feeling less relaxed, a failure to feel relaxed in an

encounter may arise for reasons unrelated to shyness; one

may be interacting with an overbearing braggart, for exam-

ple. Thus, one would expect a moderate correlation between

self-reports of shyness and relaxation, which is the case,

r = -.59, P < .001.

A three-way ANOVA performed on the relaxation item re-

vealed main effects of image ambiguity, F (1, 112) = 3.48,

P < .06, and FNE, F (1, 112) = 4.56, p < .04, and an ambi-

guity X FNE interaction, F (1, 112) = 3.45, e < .06. In-

spection of means shows that, as predicted, low ambiguity

subjects (M = 11.6) felt more relaxed than high ambiguity

subjects (M = 10.7), and low FNE subjects felt more relaxed

than highs (M's = 11.6 and 10.7 for low and high FNE's,

respectively). The correlation between FNE and self-re-

ported relaxation was -.27, P < .01.

Examination of cell means for the interaction (see

Table 1) shows that both main effects are pulled primarily


1All reported r's are pooled within-cell correlations.


















Table 1

Self-Reports of Relaxation
as a Function of Ambiguity and FNE


Fear of Negative Evaluation


Ambiguity Low High


Low 11.6 11.5

High 11.6b 9.9ab



Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05
(tests of simple effects).








high FNE's under conditions of high ambiguity, who felt

significantly less relaxed than either low FNE subjects in

the high ambiguity condition and high FNE subjects in

the low ambiguity cell, P's < .05, by tests of simple effects.

Put another way, low FNE subjects, who were not particularly

concerned with others' evaluations anyway, appeared not to

be bothered when they were unsure of how to behave to make

the most favorable impression, whereas high FNE's became

more uptight under conditions of high ambiguity.

Given the failure of the feedback manipulation to pro-

duce significant effects on the manipulation check item, it

was decided to trichotomize subjects in terms of their re-

sponses on the manipulation check ("How high would you rate

yourself on adaptive differentiation?"). Thus, three groups

were created that differed in their self-ratings of adaptive

differentiation, the trait that was ostensibly associated

with making good impressions on others. The means for the

three groups on the manipulation check were 7.6, 10.4,

and 12.8 for the low, medium, and high self-ratings of

adaptive differentiation groups, respectively.

If it can be shown that self-reported shyness and relax-

ation vary as a function of perceived possession of a trait

supposedly associated with making favorable impressions, we

will have some basis for inferring the proposed relationship

between self-presentational concerns and social anxiety. Of

course, it is important to emphasize that, since one's per-

ceptions of one's own attributes may themselves be affected








by numerous other variables that may themselves be associated

with shyness, we will have no basis for concluding that the

belief that one ranks low on the ability to come across well

to others causes shyness or decreased relaxation. Neverthe-

less, we may conclude that self-evaluations regarding the

ability to make favorable impressions from whatever source--

situational manipulations, low self-esteem, veridical self-

perceptions, etc.--are associated with social anxiety.

A three-way ANOVA employing self-ratings of adaptive

differentiation, image ambiguity, and FNE as factors was

performed on subjects' self-reports of shyness and relax-

ation. (It should be noted that self-ratings of adaptive

differentiation were not correlated with FNE scores, r =

-.15, > .05, so that the two individual difference factors

may be regarded as independent.) This analysis performed on

the shyness measure revealed a significant main effect of

adaptive differentiation self-rating, F (2, 116) = 4.05,

p < .02, and a marginally significant main effect of FNE,

F (1, 116) = 3.18, 2 < .08. Examination of the self-rating

main effect shows that, in support of the model, self-

ratings of adaptive differentiation were negatively related

to self-reported shyness. Subjects who rated themselves

highest on adaptive differentiation indicated they felt

significantly less shy (M = 3.0) than those rating them-

selves lowest on adaptive differentiation (M = 4.8), p < .05

by Duncan's test, with those rating themselves in the

middle on adaptive differentiation falling midway (M = 4.1)








and not differing significantly from the high and low cells.

(The correlation between self-ratings of adaptive differ-

entiation and shyness was -.24, p < .01.) As before, the

marginally significant main effect of FNE showed that high

FNE's reported feeling more shy than lows.

Symmetrical effects were obtained on a similar analysis

of the relaxation item. A main effect of adaptive differ-

entiation self-rating, F (2, 116) = 3.90, P < .03, revealed

that self-reported relaxation in the encounter was signif-

icantly greater for subjects rating themselves highest (M =

12.2) or moderate (M = 11.6) in adaptive differentiation

than those rating themselves lowest on adaptive differenti-

ation (M = 10.3), P's < .05. (The correlation between self-

ratings of adaptive differentiation and self-reported relax-

ation was +.32, p < .001.) A significant main effect of

FNE, F (1, 116) = 4.58, p < .04, again showed that low FNE

subjects reported being more relaxed than highs.

It may be observed that, when self-ratings of adaptive

differentiation are substituted for feedback as a factor

in the analysis of the relaxation item, the previously

obtained marginally significant main effect of ambiguity

and the ambiguity X FNE interaction disappear. This is re-

lated to the fact that, as mentioned earlier, a main effect

of ambiguity was obtained on the feedback manipulation check.

What this shows is that subjects' self-ratings of adaptive

differentiation were partially a function of their ambi-

guity condition designation. In fact, the correlation








between subjects' self-reports of adaptive differentiation

and ratings of how clear it was how adaptively differentiated

people tend to act was +.38, p < .001. Thus, when self-

ratings of adaptive differentiation are added as a factor

in the ANOVA, this variable accounts for variance originally

attributable to image ambiguity. This does not appear to

detract from the ambiguity and ambiguity X FNE effects ob-

tained earlier, but merely suggests that one variable that

affected subjects' self-ratings of adaptive differentiation

was image ambiguity.

In short, subjects' self-reports of shyness and relax-

ation were found to vary as a function of their self-ratings

on a fictional trait they believed was associated with

making favorable impressions. Although these effects are

correlational in nature, they are clearly in line with the

hypotheses.

Additional correlational data also support the hypoth-

esis that self-reported shyness and relaxation are associ-

ated with one's self-presentational concerns. The items

shown in Table 2 demonstrate significant, although some-

times minimal,correlations--all in the appropriate direction--

between the four measures of self-presentational concern/

security obtained in the study and self-reports of shyness

and relaxation. It should be observed that only the first

item in Table 2 correlates significantly with subjects'

self-ratings of chronic shyness. This suggests that the

latter three relationships shown in the Table are not














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mediated by subjects' general level of shyness or self-

presentational concern, but are specific to shyness in this

particular encounter.

Motivation to Make a Favorable Impression and Perceived

Success of Doing So

In order to assess the effect of the independent vari-

ables upon subjects' attempts to come across well to the

other subject, experimental subjects were asked (a) "How

concerned were you with making a good impression on the oth-

er subject during the conversation?," and (b) "How hard did

you try to appear adaptively differentiated to the other

subject?"

As would be expected, a main effect of FNE was obtained

on both items. High Fear of Negative Evaluation subjects

indicated that they were more concerned with making a good

impression, F (1, 112) = 7.66, p < .01 (means were 8.7 and

6.7 for high and low FNE's, respectively), and tried harder

to appear adaptively differentiated than lows, F (1, 112) =

11.32, < .001 (means were 8.2 and 5.9 for highs and lows,

respectively). The correlations between FNE and the two

items were: +.25 (concerned with making a good impression)

and +.31 (trying to appear adaptively differentiated), p's

< .01.

In addition, an ambiguity X FNE interaction was ob-

tained on the latter item, F (1, 112) = 6.91, p < .01. As

can be seen in Table 3, low and high FNE subjects tried

equally hard to appear adaptively differentiated when


M







Table 3

Subjects' Attempts to Appear Adaptively Differentiated
as a Function of Ambiguity and FNE



Fear of Negative Evaluation


Ambiguity Low High


Low 5.4a 9.5ab

High 6.4 6.9b


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.






Table 4

Subjects' Self-Reported Ability to Control Impressions
as a Function of Ambiguity and FNE



Fear of Negative Evaluation


Ambiguity Low High


Low 7.8 9.1a

High 8.9 7.6,


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








ambiguity was high, but high FNE's tried significantly hard-

er to appear adaptively differentiated than lows when ambi-

guity was low, p < .05 by tests of simple effects. Also,

high FNE's tried harder to appear adaptively differentiated

when ambiguity was low rather than high, p < .05, whereas

low FNE's attempts to appear adaptively differentiated did

not differ as a function'of the ambiguity manipulation, p > .05.

Interestingly, an ambiguity X FNE interaction was also

obtained on responses to the item, "To what degree did you

feel you were able to control the impressions the other sub-

ject formed of you?," F (1, 111) = 4.39, p < .04. Inspec-

tion of cell means (see Table 4) shows that, while high

FNE's felt significantly better able to control their impres-

sions when image ambiguity was low rather than high, p < .05,

no difference was obtained between low and high ambiguity

conditions for low FNE's, p > .05.

These findings raise a noteworthy point. Information

regarding the nature of the image likely to result in favor-

able reactions from others (i.e., low image ambiguity) is of

no help in attaining those reactions unless the individual

attempts to use it. High FNE subjects, who were more moti-

vated to secure a favorable evaluation from the other sub-

ject, tried harder to appear adaptively differentiated,

felt better able to control their impressions, and felt as

relaxed as low FNE's when image ambiguity was low. Thus,

although their greater concern over evaluation would seem

to predispose high FNE's to become more socially anxious








than lows, it also motivates them to manage their impres-

sions in ways that reduce their self-presentational con-

cerns. Only when the nature of the valued image is ambi-

guous do high FNE's appear to become more anxious than lows.

When subjects are divided into three groups on the

basis of their adaptive differentiation self-ratings, a

main effect of self-rating is obtained on the above item

(i.e., "To what degree did you feel you were able to

control the impressions the other subject formed of you?"),

F (2, 115) = 3.26, p < .05. Inspection of means shows

that subjects who rated themselves highest (M = 9.3) or

medium (M = 9.0) on adaptive differentiation indicated they

felt significantly better able to control the impressions

the other subject formed of them than subjects who rated

themselves lowest on adaptive differentiation (M = 7.4),

P's < .05 by Duncan's test. It makes good sense that peo-

ple who think they possess a trait associated with the

ability to make good impressions would perceive they were

better able to control their impressions than people who

rate themselves low on such a trait.

Ratings of the Other Subject

No effects of the independent variables, either alone

or in combination, were obtained on responses to the items,

"How shy do you think the other (i.e., nonexperimental)

subject is?," and "How much did you like the other sub-

ject?," all p's > .05. However, when subjects are split








into three groups on the basis of their adaptive differ-

entiation self-ratings, a main effect of self-rating is

obtained on the liking item, F (2, 116) = 4.10, p < .02.

Subjects rating themselves highest in adaptive differenti-

ation (M = 12.1) liked the other subject more than subjects

rating themselves lowest on adaptive differentiation (M =

10.6), p < .05, with thode rating themselves in the middle

falling in between (M = 11.7).

Interestingly, ratings of how shy the other subject

appeared correlated with both self-ratings of chronic

shyness, r = +.29, and with self-ratings of shyness during

the conversation, r = +.40, E's < .001. Thus, there seems

to be a degree of egocentrism in people's judgements of how

shy others are: there is a tendency to assume others are

like oneself.

Ratings by Nonexperimental Subjects

Following the five-minute conversation, nonexperimental

subjects answered six questions about the experimental sub-

jects and rated them on six 7-point bipolar adjective scales

(see Appendix F for questionnaire).

Ratings of Shyness and Relaxation

Table 5 shows the correlations between nonexperimental

subjects' ratings of how shy and relaxed experimental sub-

jects appeared to be and experimental subjects' self-reports

of shyness and relaxation. As can be seen, there is no

relationship between shyness ratings by the nonexperimental

subjects and experimental subjects' self-reports of shyness,


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and only minimal correspondence between ratings and self-

reports of relaxation. Overall, nonexperimental subjects

(M = 6.00) overestimated how shy experimental subjects were

(M = 4.05), t (127) = -5.70, P < .05, and underestimated how

relaxed they were (M's = 11.3 and 10.4 for experimental and

nonexperimental subjects, respectively), t (127) = 3.00, P

< .05. In short, there is only minimal correspondence be-
tween experimental subjects' self-reports and nonexperi-

mental subjects' ratings of them.

A main effect of ambiguity, F (1, 112) = 4.27, p < .04,

and a marginally significant main effect of feedback, F

(3, 112) = 2.54, p < .06, were obtained on nonexperimental
subjects' ratings of how shy they thought the experimental

subject was. The patterns of means for both of these effects

were contrary to predictions. First, nonexperimental sub-

jects rated experimental subjects as more shy in the low

ambiguity (M = 6.6) than in the high ambiguity condition

(M = 5.5). (It will be remembered that experimental sub-

jects reported that they were more relaxed in the low than

high ambiguity condition.) It is possible that subjects in

the low ambiguity condition, who may have been monitoring

their behavior more closely in order to appear adaptively

differentiated, appeared more tenuous and awkward, although

they felt more relaxed since they perceived that they had a

degree of control over the impressions the other was forming

of them.








The pattern of means for the marginally significant

main effect of feedback were also puzzling: experimental

subjects in the high and no feedback condition were judged

to be most shy (M's = 6.8 and 6.7, respectively), those

receiving low feedback were judged as being least shy (M

= 5.1), and those receiving average feedback were rated in

between (M = 5.5). Possible explanations for this effect

will be discussed in detail below.

Analysis of nonexperimental subjects' responses to the

item, "How relaxed would you say the other subject was dur-

ing the conversation?," revealed only a marginally signifi-

cant feedback X FNE interaction, F (3, 112) = 2.52, < .06.

The means for this effect are shown in Table 6. Tests of

simple effects reveal a significant simple main effect of

feedback for low FNE subjects, p < .05. Subsequent multiple

comparisons showed that low FNE subjects were judged to be

significantly less relaxed after they had received low feed-

back than either average or no feedback, p's < .05, with

the high feedback condition not differing significantly from

the others. Thus, low feedback regarding adaptive differ-

entiation was associated with reduced relaxation, although

only for low FNE's. Why a similar effect was not obtained

for high FNE subjects is not clear.

No effects of self-ratings of adaptive differentiation

were obtained on nonexperimental subjects' ratings of shy-

ness or relaxation when experimental subjects were trichot-

omized according to their self-ratings and that factor en-

tered into the analysis.


M














Table 6

Nonexperimental Subjects' Ratings of How Relaxed
the Experimental Subject was as a Function of
Feedback and FNE


Feedback
Fear of Negative
Evaluation Low Average High None


Low 8.9ab 11.4a 9.8 11.5b

High 10.6 10.5 10.1 9.6


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








Evaluations of the Experimental Subjects

Nonexperimental subjects' evaluations of the experi-

mental subjects were examined as a function of feedback,

image ambiguity, and FNE, although no hypotheses were ad-

vanced regarding their effects.

A three-way interaction of feedback X ambiguity X FNE

was obtained on responses to the items: (a) "How much did

you like the other subject?," F (3, 112) = 2.51, p < .06,

and (b) "What was your overall impression of the other sub-

ject?," F (3, 112) = 2.61, P < .05. Because these two items

are correlated (r = +.57, E < .0001), they will be dis-

cussed together.
Examining the "liking" item first (see Table 7), tests

of simple effects revealed that low FNE subjects in the high

feedback/low ambiguity condition were liked less than (a)

other low FNE subjects under conditions of low ambiguity,

(b) low FNE subjects in the high feedback/high ambiguity

condition, and (c) high FNE's in the high feedback/low ambi-

guity condition, p's < .05.

Inspection of means for the "overall impression" item

(see Table 8) reveals a strikingly similar pattern. Again,

low FNE's in the high feedback/low ambiguity condition were

evaluated least positively, significantly less so than

(a) low FNE's in the low ambiguity condition who received

low or average feedback, (b) low FNE's in the high feedback/

high ambiguity condition, and (c) high FNE's in the high

feedback/low ambiguity cell, P's < .05.













Table 7

Nonexperimental Subjects' Ratings of How Well
They Liked the Experimental Subject
as a Function of Feedback, Ambiguity, and FNE


Low Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 11.4a .9b 9.4abde 11.7

High 10.7 11.4 11.3d 10.3


High Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 11.9 12.0 12.1 10.8
e
High 11.1 12.4 11.0 11.9


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.
The following two-way simple interactions were significant
by p < .05: feedback X ambiguity within low FNE, ambiguity
X FNE within high feedback.













Table 8

Nonexperimental Subjects' Impressions of
Experimental Subjects as a Function of
Feedback, Ambiguity, and FNE


Low Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 12.2 13.0b 9.6abcd 12.0

High 11.3 11.3 11.8 12.1


High Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 12.3 12.4 12.6d 10.8

High 12.0 12.6 11.5 11.1


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.
The following two-way simple interactions were significant
by p < .05: feedback X ambiguity within low FNE, ambiguity
X FNE within high feedback, feedback X FNE within low ambi-
guity.








Thus, experimental subjects in the single cell that

was predicted to result in the least shyness were liked

least and made the worst overall impression. It seems pos-

sible that low Fear of Negative Evaluation subjects, rela-

tively unconcerned with the other's evaluation, made little

attempt to get the other to like them when they already be-

lieved they had the attributes necessary to make a favorable

impression and knew kow to act in order to make one.

Interestingly, however, there was no correlation between

nonexperimental subjects' evaluations of the experimental

subject, either in terms of liking or overall impression,

and experimental subjects' ratings of how good of an impres-

sion they thought they had made on the nonexperimental sub-

ject, r's < .10, p's > .05. It seems that people may not be

particularly good at judging how well they come across to

strangers in an initial conversation.

To assess the effect of the experimental subjects' ex-

perimental condition upon nonexperimental subjects' reactions

to the encounter, nonexperimental subjects were asked, "How

comfortable did you feel during your conversation with the

other subject?" This item revealed a significant feedback

X FNE interaction, F (3, 112) = 3.06, p < .03. Tests of

simple effects (see Table 9) showed that nonexperimental sub-

jects felt significantly less comfortable interacting with


1No effects of subjects' self-ratings of adaptive dif-
ferentiation were obtained on either the liking or overall
impression items.
















Table 9

Nonexperimental Subjects' Ratings of How Comfortable They
Felt During the Interaction as a Function of
Feedback and FNE


Feedback


FNE Low Average High No


Low 11.9a 10.1 9.5abc 11.7b

High 10.7 11.9 11.7c 10.4


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








low FNE subjects in the high feedback than in the low or

no feedback conditions, or high FNE subjects in the high

feedback condition, p's < .05. Although the effect was not

qualified by image ambiguity, it bears some resemblence to

the personal evaluation items just discussed. Low FNE sub-

jects who received high feedback appear to have been behaving

in a way that produced adverse reactions in nonexperimental

subjects.

Nonexperimental subjects' ratings of comfort in the

encounter were then analyzed as a function of experimental

subjects' self-ratings of adaptive differentiation, image

ambiguity, and FNE, revealing a significant three-way inter-

action, F (2, 116) = 7.96, p < .001. (See Table 10.) Low

FNE subjects rating themselves high on adaptive differen-

tiation and serving in the low ambiguity cell made nonex-

perimental subjects feel significantly less comfortable than

(a) low FNE's rating themselves high on adaptive differenti-

ation, but serving in the high ambiguity cell and (b) high

FNE's in the high self-rating/low ambiguity condition, p's

< .05. In addition, nonexperimental subjects felt less

comfortable when interacting with high FNE subjects in the

high self-rating/high ambiguity condition than with (a) low

FNE's in the high self-rating/high ambiguity cell, (b) high

FNE's in the high self-rating/low ambiguity condition, and

(c) high FNE's in the high ambiguity condition who rated

themselves either low or medium on adaptive differentiation,

p's < .05. The tendency for low FNE subjects in the low















Table 10

Nonexperimental Subjects' Ratings of How Comfortable They
Felt During the Interaction as a Function of
Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation,
Ambiguity and FNE


Low Fear of Negative Evaluation


Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation


Ambiguity Low Medium High


Low 10.9 11.7 9.4ab

High 11.1 10.0 1.9ac


High Fear of Negative Evaluation


Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation


Ambiguity Low Medium High


Low 11.3 10.5 12.8bd

High 11.0 11.3 6.7cdef


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.
The following two-way simple interactions were significant
by p < .05: ambiguity X FNE within high self-rating, FNE
X self-rating within high ambiguity, ambiguity X self-
rating within high FNE.







ambiguity condition who rated themselves high on adaptive

differentiation to make nonexperimental subjects feel less

comfortable parallels previous effects in which subjects who

presumably were in the "optimal" self-presentational con-

dition had adverse effects on nonexperimental subjects.

The finding that high FNE's who rated themselves high on

adaptive differentiation 'under conditions of high ambiguity

had an even stronger effect in that regard is more puzzling.

Miscellaneous Ratings

A three-way ANOVA performed on the item, "How much eye

contact did the other subject give you during the conver-

sation?," revealed a significant ambiguity X FNE interaction,

F (1, 112) = 4.12, p < .05 (see Table 11). Tests of simple

effects showed that, under conditions of low ambiguity, high

FNE subjects were judged to have engaged in more eye contact

than low FNE's, 2 < .05. However, low and high FNE's did

not differ in judged eye contact in the high ambiguity con-

dition, p > .05. Also, low FNE's engaged in somewhat more

eye contact when ambiguity was high rather than low, p <

.07, while high FNE's showed a nonsignificant trend in the

opposite direction.

It will be recalled that subjects in the low ambiguity

condition had been given information regarding how adap-

tively differentiated people supposedly tend to act: "peo-

ple who rank high in adaptive differentiation tend to be

interested in other people, smile frequently, are optimistic,

are open-minded, and appear well-adjusted to others." To
















Table 11

Nonexperimental Subjects' Ratings of How Much
Eye Contact Experimental Subjects Gave Them
as a Function of Ambiguity and FNE


Fear of Negative Evaluation


Ambiguity Low High


Low 8.9a 10.5a

High 10.3 9.5


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








determine whether such information actually led low ambi-

guity subjects to act in such ways, and thus differently

than subjects in the high ambiguity condition, nonexper-

imental subjects were asked to rate them on six 7-point bi-

polar adjective scales that tapped the characteristics

described as indicative of adaptively differentiated people:

optimistic/pessimistic, open-minded/close-minded, poorly

adjusted/well adjusted, smiled a lot/did not smile at all,

friendly/unfriendly, and interested in others/not interested

in others. A multivariate analysis of variance performed on

the six scales revealed no effects of any independent vari-

ables, including image ambiguity, p's > .10. Thus, as hoped,

nonexperimental subjects did not detect differences in the

behavior of experimental subjects that could be directly

attributable to the content of the information given to

low ambiguity subjects. Thus, it may be assumed that ob-

tained differences in the ratings or behaviors of low versus

high ambiguity subjects are not due to specific differences

in their interpersonal behaviors as affected by lows' know-

ledge of how adaptively differentiated people tend to act.

Observational Data

Trained raters listened to the tapes of the five-minute

conversations between subjects and coded four pieces of in-

formation from each: (a) which subject in each session

broke the initial silence after the experimenter had left

the room and closed the door, (b) how long each subject








talked during the five minutes, (c) how many questions each

subject asked the other, and (d) an overall estimation of

how shy the raters thought the subjects "sounded," rated on

a 7-point scale. Ratings were available for only 126 of the

128 sessions. One session was lost due to an experimenter's

failure to record it, and another was excluded from the

analysis because of one subject's obvious attempt to sabo-

tage the recording.

Interrater reliabilities were computed for each of the

ratings across 40 randomly selected subjects. Raters worked

in pairs for these coding sessions, both raters recording

the data for each of the 40 subjects. Each of the four

measures demonstrated an acceptable degree of reliability:

(a) which subject initiated the conversation, 1.00; (b)

time spent talking, .94; (c) number of questions asked, .93;

and (d) ratings of perceived subject shyness, .74.

Initiation of Conversation

No effects of the independent variables were obtained

on chi-square analyses of whether or not the experimental

subject initiated the conversation after the experimenter

had left the room.

Time Spent Talking

A three-way ANOVA performed on the number of seconds

that experimental subjects talked during the conversation

revealed only a main effect of FNE, F (1, 110) = 4.62, p <

.04. As might be expected, low FNE subjects (M = 133.5








seconds) spoke longer than high FNE subjects (M = 117.0

seconds). The correlation between FNE and time spent talk-

ing was -.25, P < .01.

Because there was great variability in the total length

of time subjects in a given session conversed (i.e., sub-

jects in some sessions sat quietly for long portions of the

five minute period), it was decided to examine the propor-

tion of time each subject spoke, relative to the total

length of the conversation. Thus, each subject's speaking

time was divided by the total time that both subjects talked

in a given session, and this proportion submitted to a

three-way ANOVA. In addition to the main effect of FNE ob-

tained above, F (1, 110) = 3.96, P < .05, this analysis re-

vealed a significant feedback X ambiguity X FNE interaction,

F (3, 110) = 2.65, P < .05. (As before, low FNE's spoke
relatively more of the time than high FNE's--55% versus 49%

respectively.)

The proportions for the three-way interaction are shown

in Table 12. Under conditions of low image ambiguity, low

FNE subjects talked proportionally longer when feedback

was high than average, or when they received no feedback at

all, p's < .05. Low FNE subjects in the low feedback/low

ambiguity condition fell midway and did not differ from the

other cells. Also, after receiving high feedback regarding

their adaptive differentiation, low FNE subjects in the low

ambiguity condition talked more than low FNE's under high

ambiguity, and more than high FNE's in the high feedback/














Table 12

Proportion of Time Experimental Subjects Spoke as
a Function of Feedback, Ambiguity, and FNE



Low Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low .60 .50a .68abcd .50b

High .54 .61 .46c .50


High Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low .48 .57 .46d .43

High .48 .50 .51 .55


Note. Proportions sharing a common subscript differ by p <
.05. The following two-way simple interactions were
significant by p < .05: feedback X ambiguity within low
FNE, ambiguity X FNE within high feedback, feedback X FNE
within low ambiguity.








low ambiguity cell, p's < .05. Thus, the greatest amount

of talking, proportional to the total length of the con-

versation, occurred among low FNE subjects in the high feed-

back/low ambiguity condition--those subjects in the optimal

condition from a self-presentational perspective, as pre-

dicted. (These were also the subjects evaluated least

positively by nonexperimental subjects, a point to be dis-

cussed below.) However, there was no simple interaction of

feedback X ambiguity for high FNE's that showed decreased

talking in the low feedback/high ambiguity cell, as was

expected.

Subjects were then classified as low, medium, or high

on their self-ratings of adaptive differentiation, and

their time spent talking examined as a function of self-

ratings, ambiguity, and FNE. A self-rating of adaptive

differentiation X FNE interaction was obtained on the raw

number of seconds experimental subjects spoke, F (2, 114)

3.37, p < .04, and on the proportion of time that subjects

talked, relative to the length of the conversation, F

(2, 114) = 4.16, p < .02. The means and proportions for

these two effects are presented together in Table 13.

Tests of simple effects, followed by multiple compari-

sons for simple main effects, on the two items revealed

the same pattern of results. First, high FNE's talked more

than low FNE's when they thought they were high in adaptive

differentiation, but less when they thought they were medi-

um or low in adaptive differentiation, p's < .05. Also, low














Table 13

Time Spent Talking as a Function of Self-Ratings of
Adaptive Differentiation and FNE


Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation


FNE Low Medium High

Low 133.6 142.9 121.1
(55)a (.59)bd (.47)cd

High 110.4 118.3 145.6
(.47)ae (.51)b (59)e

Note. Numbers is parentheses refer to proportion of time
subjects talked, relative to total length of conversation.
Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








FNE's who rated themselves medium in adaptive differenti-

ation talked more than those who rated themselves high,

and high FNE's talked more when they rated themselves high

than low, p's < .05. Thus, when proportion of time spent

talking is examined as a function of self-ratings of adap-

tive differentiation, the expected pattern is obtained for

high FNE's, who demonstrated increased talking with higher

self-ratings. Low FNE's showed a different pattern in which

subjects rating themselves medium on adaptive differentiation

talked more than those rating themselves high. As will be

discussed below, low Fear of Negative Evaluation people

may interact with others most fully under moderate levels

of self-presentational concern.

Number of Questions Asked

An analysis of variance performed on the number of

questions asked by experimental subjects revealed a two-way

interaction of ambiguity X FNE, F (1, 110) = 4.17, < .05,

and a three-way interaction of feedback X ambiguity X FNE,

F (3, 110) = 3.22, P < .03. Examining the two-way effect

first (see Table 14), it can be seen that, whereas low FNE's

asked more questions than highs under conditions of high

ambiguity, p < .05, high and low FNE subjects did not differ

significantly when image ambiguity was low, p > .05.

Looking at the effects the other way, increasing ambiguity

nonsignificantly increased the number of questions asked by

low FNE's, p < .10, but significantly decreased the number














Table 14

Number of Questions Asked as a Function of
Ambiguity and FNE


Fear of Negative Evaluation


Ambiguity Low High


Low 7.5 7.9b

High 8.6a 6.3ab


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.








of questions asked by high FNE subjects, P < .05. This

suggests that image ambiguity may have different interper-

sonal consequences depending upon the degree to which the

individual is characteristically concerned with how he or

she appears to others.

Decomposition of the three-way interaction via tests of

simple effects (see Table 15) reveals that, under average

feedback conditions, low FNE subjects asked significantly

more questions when ambiguity was high rather than low, and

more questions when ambiguity was high than did high FNE's

in the average feedback/high ambiguity condition, ''s < .05.

This effect remains difficult to interpret.

When the number of questions subjects asked was exam-

ined as a function of self-ratings of adaptive differenti-

ation, a self-rating X FNE interaction was obtained, F (2,

114) = 3.37, 2 < .04. As can be seen in Table 16, high

FNE subjects who rated themselves lowest in adaptive dif-

ferentiation asked significantly less questions than either

high FNE's who rated themselves medium, or low FNE's who

rated themselves low, P's < .05.

Raters' Judgments of Shyness

After coding the behaviors above from the tape of each

session, the raters responded to the item, "How shy did this

subject sound to you?," on a 7-point scale. This rating

was done blind (i.e., without knowledge of the subjects'

condition) and independently for each rater. The interrater

reliability of .74 indicates that the raters were in moderate














Table 15

Number of Questions Asked as a Function of
Feedback, Ambiguity, and FNE


Low Fear of Negative Evaluation


Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 9.5 5.5a 7.0 7.9

High 7.4 10.9ab 8.2 7.8


High Fear of Negative Evaluation

Feedback


Ambiguity Low Average High No


Low 8.7 7.5 8.8 6.8

High 6.7 4.0b 6.0 8.5


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05
The following two-way simple interactions were significant
by p < .05: feedback X ambiguity within low FNE, ambiguity
X FNE within average feedback, feedback X FNE within high
ambiguity.
















Table 16

Number of Questions Asked as a Function of
Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation and FNE


Self-Rating of Adaptive Differentiation


FNE Low Medium High


Low 9.5a 8.3 7.3

High 6.3ab 9.0b 6.8


Note. Means sharing a common subscript differ by p < .05.




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