According to recent research, "close to 50 percent of the general population report that they currently experience some degree of shyness in their lives. In addition, close to 80 percent of people report having felt shy at some point of their lives" (Payne, par. 3).2 As shyness is so prevalent in the world, it is not surprising that social scientists are learning more about its causes. They have found that shyness in an individual can result from both biological and environmental factors. .
Recent research reveals. some individuals are genetically predisposed to shyness. In other words, some people say that some people are born shy. Researchers say that between
5 and 20. percent of newborn babies show signs of shyness: they are quitter and more vigilant. Researchers have identified philological differences between sociable and shy babies that show up as early as two months. In one study, two-month-olds who were later identified as shy children reacted with signs of stress to stimuli such as moving. Mobiles 4 and tape recordings of human voices: increased heart rates, jerky movements of arms and legs, and excessive crying. Further evidence of the genetic basis of shyness is the fact that parents and grandparents of shy children more often say that they were shy as children than parents and grandparents of non-shy children ( Henderson and Zimbardo 6).5
3 However, environment can, at least in some cases, triumph over a biology.
A shy child may lose much of his or her shyness. On the other hand, many people who were not shy as children become shy as adults, a fact that points to environmental or experiential causes.
4 The first environmental cause of shyness may be a child's home and family life. Children who grew up with a difficult relationship with parents or a dominating older sibling are more likely to be inhibited6 in social interactions. Another factor is the fact that today's children are growing up in smaller and smaller families, with fewer and fewer relatives living nearby. Growing up in single-parent homes or in homes in which both parents work full time, children may not have the socializing experience of frequent visits by neighbors and friends. Because of their lack of social skills, they may begin to feel socially inhibited, or shy, when they start
5 A second environmental cause of shyness in an individual may be one's culture. In a large study conducted in several nations, 40 percent of participants in the United States rated themselves as shy, compared to 57 percent in Japan and 55 percent in Taiwan. Of the countries participating in the study, the lowest percentage of shyness was found in Israel, where the rate was 31 percent. Researchers Henderson and Zimbrdo say " one explanation of the cultural difference between Japanese and Israelis lies in the way each culture deals with attributing credit for success and blame for failure. In Japan, an individuals success is credited externally to parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, and others, while failure is entirely blamed on the person." Therefore, Japanese learn not to take risks in public and rely on group-shared decisions. "In Israel, the situation is entirely reversed ," according to Henderson and Zimbrdo. " Failure is extremely attributed to parents, teachers, coaches, friends, anti-Semitism and other sources, while all performance success is credited to the individual's enterprise".
6 In addition to family and culture, technology may be a role as well. In the United States, the number of young people who report of being shy has risen from 40 percent to the 50 percent in the recent years. 10 The rising numbers of shy young people may be " due in
phenomenon: occurrence or fact (plural: phenomena)
2 Payne, Karen S. "Understanding and Overcoming Shyness." California Institute of Technology
Counseling Center. 7 Nov. 2004 .
3 predisposed to: likely to get
4 mobiles: a toy that hangs over a baby's bed with moving shapes
5Henderson, Lynne, and Philip Zimbardo. "Shyness." Encyclopedia of Mental Health. 8 Oct. 2004
6 inhibited: self-conscious, shy
part to the growing dependence on non human forms communication, coming about as a result of our huge advances in technology"(Payane,Par.4). Watching television, playing video games, and surfing the web have displaced recreational activities that involve social interaction for many young people. Adults, too, are becoming more isolated as a result of technology. Face-to-face interaction with bank tellers, gas station attendants, and store clerks are no longer necessary because people can use machines to do their banking, fill their gas tanks, and other merchandise. College students take online telecourses. Telecommuters work at home, giving up daily contact with coworkers. Everyone texts, emails, converse anonymously7 in online chat rooms. As a result people have less opportunity to socialize in person , become increasingly awkward at it, and eventually start avoiding it altogether. In short, they become shy.
7 While being shy has some negative consequences, it has positive aspects too. For one thing it has been mentioned that shy people are good listeners ( Shyness).8 Furthermore, a university professor writing about his own shyness says, " because of their tendency toward self –criticism, shy people are often high achievers, and not just in solitary activities like research and writing. Perhaps even more than the drive toward independent achievement, shy people long to make connections to others.
8 To sum up, shyness has both genetic and environmental causes. Some people come into the world shy, while others become shy as a result of their experiences in life. It appears that most people have experiences shyness at some time in their lives, and recent research indicates that the number of shy people is increasing. Therefore, if you are shy, you have lots of company.
Exercise: 1. What type of model does this writing develop?Choose one of the Nine ways to develop Essays and Paragraphs : 1.Description 2. Narration 3.Examples 4. Process 5. Cause and Effect 6.Comparison and Contrast 7.Definition 8. Division and Classification 9.Argumentation and Persuasion .. Explain why.
2. Is 'Shyness' an essay? Why?
3. Write down an outline for essay.
4 Underline the thesis statement.
5. Which sentences state the main ideas of each paragraph?
6. What types of supporting details do each paragraph has?