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Abstract

It is proposed that shyness both induces and is induced by the perception of the environment This study of person-situation transaction used photographic images taken by shy and less shy subjects in response to the question, “Who are you?” A content analysis of the photographs showed that shy persons were less person-oriented, more aesthetically oriented, and showed a reduced range of orientations when compared to less shy persons The hierarchy of orientations for shy persons was aesthetic, people, self, and school, whereas for less shy persons it was people, self, aesthetic, and other persons Thus, the difference between shy and less shy persons is in the pattern of orientations rather than in orientations in and of themselves Moreover, one single difference between the groups, such as the lesser orientation toward people, does not justify the interpretation of shyness as a “people phobia”