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A modest proposal to link shyness and modesty: Investigating the relation within the framework of Big Five personality traits

Authors:

Abstract

Shyness and modesty are similar constructs, but to date no study has investigated their relationship empirically, hence the goal of this study was to examine this relationship and how shyness and modesty are related to the Big Five model of personality. We administered a set of self-report measures of shyness, modesty and Big Five personality traits to 727 adults in Poland. The results conformed our expectations, revealing that shyness and modesty are positively correlated traits. Moreover, in regard to Big Five personality traits, both of them were negatively related to extraversion and positively to neuroticism, but only modesty was positively related to agreeableness. Our findings are discussed in light of previous research and theory.
SHYNESS AND MODESTY 1
A modest proposal to link shyness and modesty:
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Investigating the relation within the framework of Big Five personality traits
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Running head: SHYNESS AND MODESTY
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Maria Magdalena Kwiatkowska
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Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
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maria.kwiatkowska@uksw.edu.pl
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Radosław Rogoza
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Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw
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r.rogoza@uksw.edu.pl
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CITE AS: Kwiatkowska, M.M., & Rogoza, R. (2019). A modest proposal to link shyness and
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modesty: Investigating the relation within the framework of Big Five personality traits.
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Personality and Individual Differences, 149, 813. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.026
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 2
Highlights
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Shyness and modesty are positively related constructs
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Among Big Five, low extraversion is the strongest predictor of shyness and modesty
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Beyond extraversion, shyness is related to neuroticism
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Beyond extraversion, modesty is related to agreeableness
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 3
Acknowledgements
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Funding: This work was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education
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under the Diamond Grant program [grant number 0101/DIA/2017/46].
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 4
Abstract
1
Shyness and modesty are similar constructs, but to date no study has investigated their
2
relationship empirically, hence the goal of this study was to examine this relationship and how
3
shyness and modesty are related to the Big Five model of personality. We administered a set of
4
self-report measures of shyness, modesty and Big Five personality traits to 727 adults in Poland.
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The results conformed our expectations, revealing that shyness and modesty are positively
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correlated traits. Moreover, in regard to Big Five personality traits, both of them were
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negatively related to extraversion and positively to neuroticism, but only modesty was
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positively related to agreeableness. Our findings are discussed in light of previous research and
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theory.
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Keywords: shyness; modesty; personality traits
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 5
1. Introduction
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It is natural to call someone who is slightly withdrawn or avoids the attention of others
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both shy and modest. Shyness and modesty are human characteristics that have been
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intertwined for years, and not just in everyday language (Gregg, Hart, Sedikides, &
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Kumashiro, 2008). The tendency to link shyness and modesty was present in early
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psychology. In reviewing clinical-experimental research on the dominance-feeling (ego-level)
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defined as “evaluation of the self” and“ what the subject says about herself [or himself] in
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an intensive review, after a good rapport has been established” (Maslow, 1939, p. 3)
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Maslow identified various attributes of personality and social behaviour which are empirically
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involved in this construct. Low-dominance feeling was characterised by the combination of
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characteristics as “shyness, timidity, embarrassability, [lack of] self-confidence, self-
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conscientiousness, inhibition, conventionality, modesty, fearfulness, poise, inferiority
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feelings, [lack of] social ease” (Maslow, 1939, p. 3).
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Further research echoed Maslow’s clinical findings: we can find traces of shyness in
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descriptions of modesty (Gregg et al., 2008; Hartman, 2015) and vice versa (Asendorpf, 2010;
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Liu, Bowker, Coplan, & Chen, 2018; Xu, Farver, Yu, & Zhang, 2009); however, none of the
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previous studies explicitly examined the relationship between modesty and shyness nor
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investigated their common qualities. Furthermore there are some perspectives that are not
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entirely consistent with the notion of linking these two constructs. For example, trait theory
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research has found more arguments for the separation of shyness and modesty than for their
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proximity. As a lower-order trait, modesty is clustered under agreeableness (Costa & McCrae,
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1992), whereas shyness is placed under low extraversion or neuroticism (Costa & McCrae,
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1992; Hofstee, de Raad, & Goldberg, 1992; John, 1990), which suggests that these two
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constructs are more distant from one another than one might expect.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 6
This study aims to examine the direct relationship between modesty and shyness and to
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investigate the convergence and divergence of these constructs through the lens of the Big
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Five factor model of personality (Costa & McCrae, 1992; Goldberg, 1999). We posit that
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shyness and modesty are similar in terms of low extraversion, though are distinct from each
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other through neuroticism and agreeableness.
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1.1. Defining Shyness and Modesty
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1.1.1. Shyness. The very first models of shyness conceive it as a stable personality
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characteristic that manifests in social contexts. Shy individuals generally include shyness in
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their self-concept (they describe themselves as shy), they inhibit desired behaviours or avoid
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certain difficult social situations and experience intense discomfort, embarrassment and
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shame, or anxiety in such situations, which causes specific physiological symptoms (such as
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blushing or sweating) and negative self-attributions (Cheek & Briggs, 1990; Cheek & Buss,
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1981; Costa & McCrae, 1992; Zimbardo, 1977). This approach to shyness seems to be fairly
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consistent in the literature.
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1.1.2. Modesty. Modesty seems to be defined in two ways: (1) in psychological terms,
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as “a moderate self-viewseeing oneself as intermediate, rather than as very positive or
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negative, on key personal attributes such as personality traits, abilities and skills, physical
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appearance, and social behavior” (Sedikides, Gregg, & Hart, 2007, p. 164) that could be
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cultivated as a strength of one’s character (Peterson & Seligman, 2004) but also (2) in
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behavioural terms as a self-presentation tactic or strategy - “the [deliberate]
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underrepresentation of one's positive traits, contributions, expectations, or accomplishments”
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(Cialdini & De Nicolas, 1989, p. 626) - that is associated with a general acceptance of others
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(Chen, Bond, Chan, Tang, & Buchtel, 2009; Cialdini & De Nicolas, 1989; Whetstone, Okun,
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& Cialdini, 1992). These approaches to modesty seem to complement rather than exclude
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each other.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 7
1.1.3. Shyness and modesty: Similarities and differences. The similarities between
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shyness and modesty are highlighted in Maslow’s (1939) theoretical interpretation of his
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clinical findings, i.e., that both constructs share the same low-dominant core, which is
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reflected in shy/modest behaviours, cognitions and feelings. Both are characterised by
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passive, withdrawn behavioural responses in social contexts, whereas only shyness induces
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intense behavioural inhibition and may lead to avoidance of difficult situations (Buss, 1986;
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Cheek & Buss, 1981). In modesty, the motivation for similar behavioural responses is to
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avoid attracting others’ attention to oneself and/or disturbing social harmony (this motivation
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may manifest as compromise and conventionality; Chen et al., 2009; Costa & McCrae, 1992).
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On the cognitive level, both shyness and modesty entail perceiving oneself in a low position
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relative to other people. In the case of shyness this manifests as a sense of inferiority (Costa &
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McCrae, 1992; Zimbardo, 1977), whereas modesty implies a belief in one’s own mediocrity
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and a refusal to see oneself as someone special (even despite actual success; Cialdini & De
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Nicolas, 1989; Hartman, 2015; Sedikides et al., 2007). In terms of feelings, both shyness and
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modesty are associated with a certain type of discomfort in social situations. For instance,
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shyness is associated with an intense anxiety (Buss, 1986; Cheek & Buss, 1981; Costa &
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McCrae, 1992; Zimbardo, 1977), whereas in the case of modesty there may be traces of
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embarrassment or anxiety (Freidlin, Littman-Ovadia, & Niemiec, 2017; Hartman, 2015),
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although such feelings are less intense than those experienced by shy people and have not
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been discussed thoroughly in the scientific literature.
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The primary difference between these two constructs relates to attentional focus.
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Shyness involves the perception that excessive critical attention is focused on oneself (one’s
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behaviours, thoughts, feelings), which makes it impossible for shy people to participate fully
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in social relations and weakens social efficiency (Buss, 1986; Zimbardo, 1977). In contrast
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modesty entails reducing the tension one associates with being the recipient of attention by
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 8
shifting the focus of attention onto others. It contributes to a tendency to focus on other people
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and their needs (Chen et al., 2009; Sedikides et al., 2007), leading to another key difference
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between shyness and modesty; namely that prosociality is a characteristic of modesty.
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Empirical research indicates that modest individuals are perceived as socially well-adapted, as
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well as helpful and concerned for others (Bond, Kwan, & Li, 2000; Gregg et al., 2008). They
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seem to be socially attractive in face-to-face interactions (Powers & Zuroff, 1988) as their
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responses, which are adequate to the situation, make a positive impression in contrast to those
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of individuals who are excessively self-deprecating or boastful (Schlenker & Leary, 1982).
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1.2. Locating Shyness and Modesty within the Big Five
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Both shyness and modesty are recognised as traits and they have been investigated
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within the framework of Big Five personality traits, which are defined as general individual
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differences that are particularly important to functioning (Goldberg, 1999). These broad trait
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dimensions extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openness to experience, and
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conscientiousness were derived from lexical analyses of the adjectives people use to
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describe themselves and others (John & Srivastava, 1999) and subsequently inspired
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personality psychologists to propose five-factor theoretical models and construct
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questionnaire measures, such as the popular NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae,
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1992).
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Existing research posits that shyness is equally related to extraversion and neuroticism
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(Jones, Schulkin, & Schmidt, 2014). For example, lexical research (Hofstee et al., 1992) and
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theoretical constructions (John, 1990) indicate that shyness is a core indicator of introversion,
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whereas models based on questionnaire data associate shyness with neuroticism (Costa &
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McCrae, 1992). Most of the existing empirical studies suggest that shyness is related to both
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low extraversion and high neuroticism (e.g., Kwiatkowska, Kwiatkowska, & Rogoza, 2016;
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La Sala, Skues, & Grant, 2014; Sato, Matsuda, & Carducci, 2018). Similarly, there is
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 9
confusion about the relationship of modesty to the Big Five. It is most strongly related to
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agreeableness (Costa & McCrae, 1992), which is linked to interpersonal aspects of personality
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such as cooperation and the motivation to maintain positive social relations (Crowe, Lynam,
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& Miller et al., 2017), but empirical data suggest that it is also related to extraversion (e.g.,
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Ashton, Lee, & de Vries, 2014; Crowe et al., 2017; Rammstedt & John, 2007). Thus modesty
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and shyness seem to be sister-constructs.
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2. Current Study
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The aims of this research were to investigate the relationship between shyness and
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modesty and to analyse their differences and similarities within the framework of Big Five
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personality traits. We hypothesised that shyness is positively related to modesty (H1); that
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shyness and modesty would be negatively predicted by extraversion (H2) and shyness would
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be positively related to neuroticism (H3), while modesty would be positively related to
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agreeableness (H4).
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3. Materials and Methods
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3.1. Participants and Procedure
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Participants were recruited via Facebook, the most popular social networking service in
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Poland. Respondents completed the questionnaire set anonymously, using an online platform
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this procedure eliminated the problem of missing data. Respondents were offered the
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opportunity to be entered into a raffle offering small prizes. All procedures were approved by
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the institutional ethics board.
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A total of 727 Polish young adults aged 1835 years old (M = 22.19; SD = 2.54)
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completed the questionnaires; 30% of respondents were male. The sex ratio of our sample
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deviated from that of Facebook users, which is generally balanced (in 2018 48% of Polish
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Facebook users were male and 52% were female; Mikowska, Skalna, & Siwiński, 2018).
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3.2. Measures
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 10
3.2.1. Shyness. The Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBS; Cheek & Buss,
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1981) is a popular self-report method of measuring shyness in which shyness is conceived as
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a personality trait related to discomfort and inhibition in the presence of others (Jones, Briggs,
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& Smith, 1986). The scale has a one-dimensional structure (Kwiatkowska et al., 2016;
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Kwiatkowska & Rogoza, 2017) and consists of 13 statements to which one responds using a
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five-point Likert scale.
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3.2.2. Modesty. Our study was designed to explore convergence and divergence
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between shyness and modesty. Because we have empirical arguments to trust the results
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yielded by the RCBS (Kwiatkowska et al., 2016; Kwiatkowska & Rogoza, 2017), we decided
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to adopt single-trait multi-method approach. In this vein, we decided to administer several
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different scales measuring modesty which were used in previous research (Cai et al., 2011;
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Shi, Sedikides, Cai, Liu, & Yang, 2017). In this way we could more confidently test the
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hypothesised relation between shyness and modesty.
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We measured modesty using three independent self-report instruments. The first, the
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Modest Responding Scale (MRS; Whetstone et al., 1992) consists of 20 statements to which
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responses are given using a seven-point Likert scale. The scale captures modesty in social
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situations, i.e. minimisation of one’s real positive traits, contributions and abilities (Cai et al.,
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2011). We also administered two subscales derived from well-recognised measures in
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personality research, the International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) representation of the
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HEXACO Personality Inventory (IPIP HEXACO; Goldberg et al., 2006; Lee & Ashton,
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2004) and the IPIP representation of the NEO-PI-R Personality Inventory (IPIP NEO-PI-R;
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Costa & McCrae, 1992; Goldberg et al., 2006).
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Both subscales capture modesty conceived as
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viewing oneself as an ordinary person and being without any expectations of special treatment
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1
The IPIP is a publically available database of items and scales that are free to use. The items reflect the content
of statements used in popular commercial inventories and have comparable psychometric properties (Goldberg et
al., 2006).
SHYNESS AND MODESTY 11
(Ashton et al., 2014). Each subscale consists of 10 items to which responses are given using a
1
five-point Likert scale. The IPIP modesty scales have some overlap as they have three items
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in common; respondents completed a total of 17 IPIP items and were not required to respond
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to any of the items twice.
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3.2.3. Big Five personality traits. The Big Five Inventory-2 (BFI; Soto & John, 2017) is
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a 60-item self-report measure of Big Five personality traits to which responses are given using
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a five-point Likert scale. The BFI captures three facet scales per trait, but we have focused on
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the domain scales: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, negative emotionality
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(alternative label for neuroticism), and open-mindedness (alternative label for openness to
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experience or intellect).
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3.3. Statistical Analyses
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We tested our hypotheses about the relationship between shyness and modesty by
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calculating Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients. We tested our hypotheses about
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the relationships of shyness and modesty to Big Five personality traits with multiple linear
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regression models. This analytical method is deemed to be superior to correlation coefficients,
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because it considers multicollinearity (i.e., it enables control of the shared variance when
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several variables are examined simultaneously). We ran four regression models in which
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shyness and modesty were independently predicted by the Big Five and gender as a control
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variable.
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4. Results
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4.1. Preliminary Check
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Descriptive statistics, reliability estimates and pairwise correlations between variables
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are presented in Table 1.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 12
Table 1
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Descriptive statistics, reliability estimates, and bivariate correlations for applied measures
2
Variable
S
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
1. Shyness
0.10
0.78
.89(.91)
2. Modesty MRS
0.06
0.49
.44***
.93(.94)
3. Modesty IPIP NEO-PI-R
0.15
0.51
.52***
.70***
.84(.88)
4. Modesty IPIP HEXACO
0.19
0.65
.32***
.53***
.80***
.85(.90)
5. Extraversion
0.10
0.59
.66***
.40***
.55***
.38***
.90(.92)
6. Negative Emotionality
0.27
0.51
.46***
.23***
.27***
.20***
.43***
.89(.92)
7. Agreeableness
0.43
0.05
.11**
.13***
.18***
.27***
.10**
.10**
.82(.85)
8. Open-Mindedness
0.20
0.41
.21***
.24***
.29***
.30***
.31**
.01
.09*
.82(.86)
9. Conscientiousness
0.11
0.39
.31***
.07
.15***
.09*
.38**
.30**
.20**
.12***
.88(.90)
10. Gender
.04
.05
.13***
.21***
.06
.29***
.17***
.16***
.06
Note. Reliability estimates Cronbach’s alpha (and McDonald’s omega) are located on a diagonal. Negative values mean higher scores in
3
females.
4
***p < .001; **p < .01; *p < .05.
5
6
SHYNESS AND MODESTY 13
1
Skewness and kurtosis indices suggested that all variables were normally distributed.
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Estimates of alpha and omega coefficients indicated that all measures had very good
3
reliability and thus our results can be seen as trustworthy. As a preliminary check we also
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verified the structure of administered measures of shyness and modesty via confirmatory
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factor analysis, but because the investigation of psychometric properties is out of the scope of
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this article these results are reported in the online supplementary material.
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4.2. The Relationship between Shyness and Modesty
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Scatterplots comparing respondents’ trait shyness and trait modesty are presented in
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Figure 1.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 14
1
Figure 1. Scatterplots representing correlations between shyness and modesty.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 15
All plots show a positive association between shyness and modesty. The slopes have a
1
20-30 degree angle; suggesting that the strength of the relationship is, at best, moderate.
2
Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients were computed to provide a more precise
3
estimate of the relationship (Table 1). There was a positive weak-to-moderate correlation
4
between shyness and modesty; this relationship was consistent across multiple tests based on
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different self-report measures of modesty. Shyness was most strongly associated with
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modesty as measured by the subscale of IPIP NEO-PI-R, followed by the MRS and the IPIP
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HEXACO subscale. These results support the hypothesis that shyness and modesty are
8
positively related (H1).
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4.3. Relationships between Shyness, Modesty and the Big Five Personality Traits
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Overall fits and standardised estimates for the multiple linear regression models of
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shyness and modesty regressed on Big Five personality traits are given in Table 2 and
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graphically represented in Figure 2.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 16
Table 2
1
Summary of multiple linear regression analyses for Big Five personality traits and gender predicting shyness and modesty
2
Model 1:
Shyness
Model 2:
Modesty MRS
Model 3:
Modesty IPIP NEO-PI-R
Model 4:
Modesty IPIP HEXACO
Predictor variable
β[95% CI]
t
β[95% CI]
t
β[95% CI]
t
β[95% CI]
t
Extraversion
0.55[0.65; 0.45]
16.53***
0.35[0.51; 0.19]
8.74***
0.50[0.58; 0.43]
14.01***
0.29[0.39; 0.20]
7.65***
Negative Emotionality
0.23[0.16; 0.30]
7.03***
0.13[0.02; 0.24]
3.32***
0.08[0.03; 0.13]
2.17*
0.06[0.01; 0.13]
1.63
Agreeableness
0.02[0.09; 0.06]
0.58
0.18[0.06; 0.30]
5.25***
0.23[0.18; 0.29]
7.74***
0.31[0.24; 0.38]
9.53***
Open-Mindedness
0.03[0.10; 0.04]
1.01
0.16[0.27; 0.04]
4.53***
0.17[0.22; 0.11]
5.31***
0.24[0.31; 0.17]
7.22***
Conscientiousness
0.01[0.08; 0.06]
0.42
0.09[0.01; 0.20]
2.47*
0.03[0.02; 0.09]
1.04
0.01[0.08; 0.05]
0.43
Gender
0.05[0.06; 0.17]
1.84
0.04[0.13; 0.22]
1.19
0.04[0.13; 0.04]
1.36
0.21[0.24; 0.03]
3.98***
R2
0.48
0.23
0.39
0.31
F-statistic
109.20***
34.96***
76.59***
53.06***
df
6, 720
6, 720
6, 720
6, 720
Note. Results of utmost importance to verify study hypotheses are bolded. Negative values mean higher scores in females.
3
***p < .001; **p < .01; *p < .05.
4
5
SHYNESS AND MODESTY 17
1
Figure 2. Visual comparison of standardized beta coefficients. Negative values mean higher
2
scores in females.
3
4
SHYNESS AND MODESTY 18
All four regression models provided a good fit to the data. Standardised beta
1
coefficients indicated that extraversion was a weak-to-moderate negative predictor of both
2
shyness and modesty, and the strongest predictor of both shyness and modesty amongst the
3
Big Five traits. At first sight, IPIP HEXACO modesty was more strongly predicted by
4
agreeableness, however the Wald test-based comparison between the coefficients showed that
5
the estimate for agreeableness was not statistically different from the estimate for extraversion
6
(F = 0.06; p = .806). This supports our hypothesis that shyness and modesty are negatively
7
predicted by extraversion (H2); in addition, extraversion was the variable with the greatest
8
predictive power. In line with our other hypotheses, negative emotionality was a weak
9
positive predictor of shyness (H3), whereas agreeableness was a weak-to-moderate positive
10
predictor of modesty (H4). We also found that open-mindedness and negative emotionality
11
were weak negative predictors of modesty, which went beyond our hypotheses. The MRS
12
modesty was also very weakly positively predicted by conscientiousness, but as
13
conscientiousness was not related to any of the other measures of modesty and the
14
significance of the correlation was modest (p < .05) this result is questionable (Benjamin et
15
al., 2018). In most models, gender was not a significant predictor of both shyness and
16
modesty. The prediction was significant only in Model 4 for modesty measured by the IPIP
17
HEXACO subscale. Nevertheless, the lack of a similar result for other scales measuring
18
modesty (in Model 2 and Model 3) undermines the relationship between gender and modesty.
19
In the interests of transparency we have included our data, R Script and R Markdown
20
together with references to packages used for the analyses in the online supplementary
21
material to this article and they are also available via the Open Science Framework platform
22
through the following web link: https://osf.io/zr3aq
23
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 19
5. Discussion
1
It seems obvious that shyness and modesty are closely related, since colloquially these
2
terms are often used interchangeably (Gregg et al., 2008; Hofstee et al., 1992). However, no
3
previous empirical study has looked closely at their relationship. This study explored the
4
relationship between both shyness and modesty and investigated their convergence and
5
divergence through the lens of the Big Five broad dimensions. As hypothesised, our results
6
revealed that: (1) modesty measured with a variety of instruments was consistently
7
positively related to shyness; (2) of the Big Five, low extraversion was the strongest predictor
8
of shyness and modesty; (3) second to low extraversion, shyness was predicted by
9
neuroticism and (4) modesty was predicted by agreeableness.
10
These results confirm the initial hypotheses about the relationship between shyness and
11
modesty (Asendorpf, 2010; Gregg et al., 2008; Liu et al., 2018; Maslow, 1939; Whetstone et
12
al., 1992; Xu et al., 2009), but also indicate that their similarities are to be found above all in
13
the motivational-behavioural component which in our study was very broadly represented
14
by extraversion. Both shy and modest individuals show limited behavioural activity and need
15
for stimulation (Costa & McCrae, 1992) because they have very little social energy or, as
16
Maslow (1939) preferred to call it, a very low ego level. In a sense that might be in line with
17
current research on shyness, which seeks to identify different types of shyness whilst taking
18
into account socio-cultural influences (Asendorpf, 2010; Liu et al., 2018; Xu et al., 2009). For
19
example, Asendorpf (2010) emphasised that “shy behavior may be due not only to inhibition
20
but also to self-regulation according to cultural norms favoring modesty, without underlying
21
inhibition” (p. 161). One might conclude, therefore, that shyness and modesty are associated
22
with similar patterns of behavioural reactions arising from two different motivations
23
avoidance associated with innate fearfulness and the desire to conform to socio-cultural
24
norms.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 20
In line with this argument we demonstrated that shyness and modesty are differentiated
1
by their relationships to two other Big Five dimensions agreeableness and neuroticism. Shy
2
and modest individuals are set apart through egocentrism nurtured by self-focus (Costa &
3
McCrae, 1992; Zimbardo, 1977) and socialisation nurtured by other-focus (Bond et al., 2000;
4
Chen et al., 2009; Sedikides et al., 2007). Modest individuals seem to be more prone to
5
trusting, helping, and giving way to others (yet without any sense of inferiority) whereas shy
6
people may be more self-centred, very sensitive to failure and somewhat indifferent to the
7
problems of others. Such socially maladaptive and self-absorbed tendencies might also be
8
sourced within the negative emotionality which, after low extraversion is the strongest Big
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Five marker of shyness as currently conceptualised (Costa & McCrae, 1992; Jones et al.,
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2014). Interestingly neuroticism did not play a major role in the differentiation of shyness
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from modesty although both constructs were positively predicted by negative emotionality,
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albeit very weakly in the case of modesty. Under current definitions modesty is minimally
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related to neuroticism (Hartman, 2015), but there is evidence of trace associations with
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neuroticism (Whetstone et al., 1992) or even social anxiety (Freidlin et al., 2017) and further
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research on this issue would be interesting.
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6. Limitations
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The disadvantage of our study is that the method of data collection (online survey
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distributed via a social networking service) and the resulting over representation of women in
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the sample seriously affects the generalisability of our results. Previous research has indicated
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that over-representation of women is typical with this method of participant recruitment
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(Whitaker, Stevelink, & Fear, 2017). Because the detection of interactions between gender
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and the other independent variables was not the goal of our study, we decided not to drop
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female participants to achieve gender balance; instead we focused on recruiting sufficient
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participants to detect the anticipated effects in the overall sample.
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SHYNESS AND MODESTY 21
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Objective: Although there are several models of the lower-order structure of Agreeableness, empirically derived descriptions of this domain are largely non-existent. We examined the factor structure of Agreeableness items from multiple scales in order to empirically determine the facet-level structure of the domain. Method: Participants (N = 1205; 73% female; 84% White; M age = 35.5, SD = 17.26) completed 131 items from 22 scales measuring Agreeableness. Results: A series of factor analyses were conducted on 104 items to identify factor emergence of the domain, from a single factor to increasingly more specific factors. A five-factor solution consisting of facets labeled Compassion, Morality, Trust, Affability, and Modesty was identified as most appropriate. Factors from all levels of the construct were compared to current measures of the domain as well as a number of criterion variables. The patterns of association with criterion variables at the lower-level of the Agreeableness domain showed significant divergence. Discussion: The current results highlight how specific Agreeableness traits unfold from broader to more specific facets and how these traits are represented in existing measures of this important domain. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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Background Social media is a popular online tool that allows users to communicate and exchange information. It allows digital content such as pictures, videos and websites to be shared, discussed, republished and endorsed by its users, their friends and businesses. Adverts can be posted and promoted to specific target audiences by demographics such as region, age or gender. Recruiting for health research is complex with strict requirement criteria imposed on the participants. Traditional research recruitment relies on flyers, newspaper adverts, radio and television broadcasts, letters, emails, website listings, and word of mouth. These methods are potentially poor at recruiting hard to reach demographics, can be slow and expensive. Recruitment via social media, in particular Facebook, may be faster and cheaper. Objective The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature regarding the current use and success of Facebook to recruit participants for health research purposes. Methods A literature review was completed in March 2017 in the English language using MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, PubMed, PsycInfo, Google Scholar, and a hand search of article references. Papers from the past 12 years were included and number of participants, recruitment period, number of impressions, cost per click or participant, and conversion rate extracted. Results A total of 35 studies were identified from the United States (n=22), Australia (n=9), Canada (n=2), Japan (n=1), and Germany (n=1) and appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklist. All focused on the feasibility of recruitment via Facebook, with some (n=10) also testing interventions, such as smoking cessation and depression reduction. Most recruited young age groups (16-24 years), with the remaining targeting specific demographics, for example, military veterans. Information from the 35 studies was analyzed with median values being 264 recruited participants, a 3-month recruitment period, 3.3 million impressions, cost per click of US $0.51, conversion rate of 4% (range 0.06-29.50), eligibility of 61% (range 17-100), and cost per participant of US $14.41. The studies showed success in penetrating hard to reach populations, finding the results representative of their control or comparison demographic, except for an over representation of young white women. Conclusions There is growing evidence to suggest that Facebook is a useful recruitment tool and its use, therefore, should be considered when implementing future health research. When compared with traditional recruitment methods (print, radio, television, and email), benefits include reduced costs, shorter recruitment periods, better representation, and improved participant selection in young and hard to reach demographics. It however, remains limited by Internet access and the over representation of young white women. Future studies should recruit across all ages and explore recruitment via other forms of social media.
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This study addresses the question of whether adolescents or adults are more shy. On the one hand, adolescents spend most of their days functioning as part of a social group (school class), which fosters socialisation processes. However, on the other, in the face of new experiences, shyness may intensify as a result of the development of maladaptive reactions or excessive adjustment to social conventions. Two studies were conducted on different age samples: 314 adults aged 18–35 and 247 high school students, aged 16. In order to verify the hypotheses, the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBS) was administered. As a result of confirmatory factor analyses, it has been demonstrated that: (1) the structure of shyness among adults and adolescents, as measured by the RCBS scale, could be either interpreted as unifactorial or three-facto-rial; and (2) there is partial scalar measurement invariance for both the unifactorial and the three-factor models. The comparison of the average latent mean scores suggests that adults are more shy than adolescents, regardless whether the total score or specific factors were compared.
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