Shyness Test

December 28, 2010



Please answer the following questions as honestly as possible.


1) Do you consider yourself to be a shy person?

_*_ yes __ no


2) If yes, have you always been shy (were shy previously and still are)?

_*_ yes __ no


3) If no to question 1, was there ever a prior time in your life when you were shy?

__ yes __ no


If no, then you are finished with this survey. Thanks. If you have answered “yes” to any of the above, please continue.


4. How often do you experience (have experienced) these feelings of shyness? (Circle your choice)


1 = every day  *

2 = almost everyday

3 = often, nearly every other day

4 = once or twice a week

5 = occasionally, less than once a week

6 = rarely, once a month or less


5. Compared to your peers (of similar age, sex, and background), how shy are you?


1 = much more shy *

2 = more shy

3 = about as shy

4 = less shy

5 = much less shy


6. How desirable is it for you to be shy?


1 = very undesirable

2 = undesirable *

3 = neither

4 = desirable

5 = very desirable


7. Is (or was) your shyness ever a personal problem for you?


1 = yes, often

2 = yes, sometimes *

3 = yes, occasionally

4 = rarely

5 = never


8. Types of people who make you feel shy: (Check all that apply)


___ my parents

___ my siblings (brothers and/or sisters)

___ other relatives

___ friends

_*__ strangers

___ foreigners

__*_ authorities (by virtue of their knowledge-intellectual superiors, experts)

___ elderly people (much older than you)

_*__ children (much younger than you)

_*__ persons of the opposite sex, in a group

___ persons of the opposite sex, one-to-one

___ a person of the same sex, in a group

___ a person of the same sex, one-to-one

___ authorities (by virtue of their role-police, teacher, superior at work)


9. What do you believe is the cause of your shyness? (Check all that apply)


_*_ born shy

__ emotional abuse

__ physical abuse

__ overprotected parents

__ faulty/inconsistent parental discipline practices

__ negative emotional experiences(s) during childhood involving peers

__ negative emotional experiences(s) during childhood involving individuals in position of authority (e.g., teachers or coaches)

__ negative emotional experience(s) during adolescence involving peers

__ negative emotional experience(s) during adolescence involving individuals in position of authority (e.g., teachers or coaches)

__ being forced to engage in certain public activities as a child (e.g., dance or musical recitals, organized sports)

__ family disruption (e.g., moving frequently or death of parent)

__ other siblings

__ parents divorcing

__ parent(s) remarrying

__ negative emotional experience(s) during young adult involving peers (e.g., roommates, classmates, co-workers)

_*_ being easily embarrassed

__ negative emotional experience(s) during young adulthood involving individuals in positions of authority (e.g., professors supervisors)

__ lack of social skills

__ lack of self-confidence

__ low self-esteem

__ being easily aroused

_*_ parents are shy

_*_ excessive self-consciousness

__ other explanation(s) not listed above– please explain (use additional space if necessary)

__ do not know what caused your shyness


10. What area(s) of your personal life has your shyness created problems for you?


*__ meeting new people

*__ developing friendships

__ dating

__ establishing intimate relationships

__ other areas of your personal life — please explain (use additional space if necessary)


11. What area(s) of your professional life has your shyness created problems for you?


__ talking with co-workers at work

*__ speaking up in meetings

*__ asking for a promotion and/or raise

*__ socializing with co-workers at lunch or after work

__ socializing with clients

__ socializing during professional meeting

__ expressing your ideas to co-workers or clients

*__ public presentations to co-workers or clients

__ other areas of your professional life–please explain (use additional space if necessary)


12. What area(s) of your educational life has your shyness created problems for you?


*__ speaking up in class

_*_ participating in student organizations/sports

*__ asking for letters of recommendations

__ seeking advice and/or assistance from teachers outside of the classroom

*__ asking questions during class

*__ participating in group discussions/projects

*__ giving a presentation to the class

__ making friends with classmates

__ asking for help from other classmates

__ other areas of your educational life–please explain (use additional space if necessary)


13. Do you think Your shyness can be overcome? (Circle your choice)


1= yes *

2 = no

3 = uncertain


14. Are you willing to seriously work at overcoming it? (Circle your choice)


1 = yes, definitely

2 = yes, perhaps *

3 = not sure

4 = no


15. What actions have you taken to overcome you shyness? (Check all those that apply)


*__tried to go out to meet people (e.g., night clubs, dances, parties, coffee houses, bookstores)

*__ tried to make conversation with individuals I don’t know but would like to

__ read self-help books

__ individual therapy

__ joined a fitness or recreational club or organization (e.g., tennis club)

__ group therapy

__ internet chat rooms and/or discussion groups

__ self-medication (e.g., consumed alcohol and/or illegal drugs)

__ tried to change the way you think about yourself

__ changed your physical appearance

__ attended seminars or workshops on shyness

__ served as a volunteer

__ joined professional organizations related to your job or career

__ signed up with a dating or match-making service

__ joined a religious or spiritual group

__ attended self-esteem workshop or seminar

__ relaxation or biofeedback training

__ taken prescribed medication

__ stress management training

__ others actions not listed above–please explain (use additional space if necessary)


__ no action taken


Tell us more about your shyness. Feel free to use additional sheets to answer these items:


Describe factors you believe have contributed to your shyness.

Describe how your shyness is expressed.

Describe what problems your shyness has created for you in your personal, social, and/or professional life.

Describe what you have tried to do to overcome your shyness.

Describe how you use the internet to deal with your shyness.

What about your shyness would you like to known more about?

What else would you like to say about your shyness?


Since I am a neuroscientist doing research, I am quite curious about why I am so shy and why it’s so hard to overcome…the shyness accompanies me since I was in school, and it went through my adolescence till adulthood. I always feel nervous when speaking in groups, and don’t like to talk while socializing with friends, always a listener…but never a problem if I face one person…I tried to avoid any public show when in school, or even avoid meeting family visitors at home. I still have the problem when talking to superior person or pretty women. The most recent case was when I took USLME step2 CS exam, the special patient during practice commented, “he is so nervous, that I can see from his trembling hands and voices”. But I got better and better with practice and felt more confident later. I plan to be a psychiatrist in the future, but not sure if my shyness could be a fatal weakness for my practice.


I have noticed this problem since childhood, and tried to overcome it by doing the things that I don’t like to do, for example to speak in public, to meet and play with friends, but never really reached a point that could low down my self-esteem…and that’s the reason I chose to do research after graduating from medical school. And till now I am still staying in my comfort zone with an isolated social life, with a few good friends only. I like to help people but don’t like to show off, and people around me always like me, no matter Chinese or European or American, I’m always nice to people and they think I’m sweet, just shy…so I guess my shyness is not serious, not a disorder yet.


I also found that several of my cousins from my father side have the same problem, especially hand trembling is very obvious in my family. So I think it’s basic an inherited thing. There are some differences though, like my brother does show the trembling, but he is not shy, just opposite to my social habit, open and talkative and like socialization with many friends and strangers, he is a good leader too.


The thing I am interested is to find the gene in my family that is responsible for this shyness and using medication to control might be an easy way.


Thank-you for your participation,

Bernardo J. Carducci, Ph.D., Director

Shyness Research Institute

Indiana University Southeast

New Albany, IN 47150


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