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46. Shy does not mean introvert; introvert does not mean shy.

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46. Shy does not mean introvert; introvert does not mean shy.

I've pasted in a few interesting articles related to this maxim. 
EnjoyCool 



On SHYNESS:
Abstract
Shyness as an emotional state is considered by some researchers to be universal, a blend of fear and interest, and adaptive in evolution. Shyness as a personality trait may be defined experientially as excessive self-focus characterized by negative self-evaluation that creates discomfort or inhibition in social situations and interferes with pursuing one's interpersonal or professional goals. The experience of shyness can occur at any or all of the following levels: cognitive (e.g., excessive negative self-evaluation), affective (e.g., heightened negative emotion), physiological (e.g., racing heart), and behavioral (e.g., failure to respond appropriately). It may be triggered by a wide variety of situational cues. Among the most typical situations are interactions with authorities and strangers, one-on-one opposite-sex interactions, and unstructured social settings.
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0870/abstract;jsessionid=09D1122C85F6447A878201FA1D3B4369.f02t04?deniedAccessCustomisedMessage=&userIsAuthenticated=true



The Extroverted Vs. the Introverted Personality and Second Language Learning
Paula Kezwer

Abstract

There have been a number of studies done to try to explain the effects of out goingness versus reservedness on second language learning. The results of these studies have often been contradictory with some showing a clear correlation between extroversion and success in learning a second language, others failing to demonstrate that there is a positive correlation between out goingness and second language proficiency. This paper presents a survey of all the major studies dealing with the influence of extroversion on second language learning. It is argued that among the reasons for the discrepancies in research results are the wide variety and dubious validity of the personality assessment instruments used; the nature of the tasks used to determine second language proficiency; and the structure of classroom interaction. The implications of extroversion and introversion for classroom teaching are also considered.

http://www.teslcanadajournal.ca/tesl/index.php/tesl/article/view/514



and yes, there is a biological difference between introverts and extroverts, from a neurobiological perspective, too.

P300, probability, and introverted/extroverted personality types 

Abstract
Extreme introverted and extroverted subject groups (n = 24 each) containing equal numbers of male and females were assessed with the P300 (P3) component of the event-related potential (ERP). A two-tone auditory discrimination task in which the probability of the target stimulus varied systematically in different conditions (.20, .40, .60, .80) was used to elicit the ERPs. The P3 amplitude demonstrated a significant interaction between personality type, probability, and subject gender and was generally smaller for introverts than for extroverts. Female subjects tended to have larger overall P3 components than male subjects. P3 latency was not affected by the personality variable. The results support previous findings for ERP differences between introverts and extroverts and suggest that personality type differentially influences target stimulus probability effects. The findings are discussed in terms of individual differences in cortical activity on P3 amplitude and personality measures.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/030105119290003D



Last edited by Admin on Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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2 Shyness and Modesty on Wed Jul 16, 2014 5:46 am

Shyness is an overused term by EFL instructors, particularly here in Japan, although I suspect the same is true elsewhere.  I suspect that people who score high on measures of introversion (surely there's something better than Myers-Briggs, which doesn't rank degrees of introversion or extroversion but only classifies as one or the other along with three other personality traits) might often be seen by the people around them as shy; however, that would certainly not always be the case.  I'm sure, for example, that whatever his problems might be, "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski is probably very introverted, but it's doubtful whether shy would be among the first adjectives most people would use to describe him. 

I'd be interested in some distinctions between shyness and modesty as well.  Albert Einstein was reportedly impressed by Japanese modesty during his visits here, but then most people probably would tend to feel somewhat humbled in the presence of one of the greatest geniuses in history.  Many Japanese do strike me as genuinely modest as well (err, and no, I don't think it has anything to do with me), but it's hardly a generalization befitting everyone that I know, here in Japan or anywhere else. Sure, there are fewer blowhards here, but then the most obnoxious and outspoken people at home sometimes seem to be struggling with some deep-seated problems, perhaps in some cases even an inferiority complex.  

For now, I'll just assume that there's a greater cultural tendency here in Japan of people thinking before they speak, but that it has little if anything at all to do with shyness.  Forgive me, but this is my first comment in this blog and it surely won't result in establishing any new maxims, but I will check back later (albeit perhaps a couple of weeks later) to see if anyone has any suggestions on better understanding and distinguishing the differences between shyness and modesty.

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Great first post, Gary!  Very Happy 

I'd like others to chime in, so, I'll just add a few points and leave the rest for others to go at.

I do think that Japanese people (I'm half Japanese, lived most of my life here, so perhaps I'm 'more' than half Japanese), come across as modest and a bit 'shy'. These traits are very strong cultural traits that we often see come up in discussions about Japan. To speak the Japanese language 'properly' you must learn to be modest with your superiors, and if you are a superior, you are expected to be a bit 'bossy'. Its all very militaristic in its roots, as filial piety (confucianism) was brought to Japan in the Tokunaga era to bring an end to the warring states. It was ultimately very successful, but Japan, even in its peaceful state of today, is peaceful perhaps because of the militaristic code that influences daily actions, inclusive of proper Japanese language usage. 

The second point (shyness), is a trait that connects to a person being scared at some level -ridicule, hitting, anything scary/abusive like that. Because Japanese public schools (many of which still have students wear military-based uniforms to this day!) are based on pedagogic practices with clear roots in military training, learning to be robotic and responding to fear should surely cause a significant number of Japanese students to become shy. Not thinking for yourself and relying on traditional societal codes can make a person anxious when you are in a position to react but you don't have access to the appropriate societal codes... (winging it is often not a option). so this kind of anxiety societal expectations can cause shyness.

Well, that's a lot of controversial stuff Smile ... I'm purposefully only brining up the 'bad' stuff.  I'll leave this here and am looking forward to what the next person has to say about this!

Robert

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Gary Henscheid


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Robert hisashiburi,

Your comment affirms my suspicion that religious/cultural factors would more account for an apparently greater tendency towards introversion in Japanese society (I do not know there to be any such research-validated tendency) than neurobiological factors, although it seems within the realm of possibility that the latter may have been exerting its effects long before any cultural factors came into play.   
     Judging from the abstract posted by Paula Kezwer, and another by James M. Cahill and John Polich, the blog is attracting scholars doing serious inquiry and research into introversion/extroversion. I noticed that Ms. Kezwer's abstract raises questions about the "validity of the personality assessment instruments used"; nonetheless, it will be interesting to read her paper for more information about the implications of the research for EFL.

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Hi Gary!

Let's keep this thread alive. I hope other's will jump in too!Very Happy

Robert

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