Level of Group Participation Determined by Shyness
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
Home |
The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
HILLEBRAND, J. A. (2001). Level of Group Participation Determined by Shyness. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 4. Available online at http://www.webclearinghouse.net/volume/. Retrieved July 21, 2017 .

Level of Group Participation Determined by Shyness
JULIE A. HILLEBRAND
Missouri Western State University DEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGY

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (cronk@missouriwestern.edu)
ABSTRACT
This study involved the effects of shyness on group participation, grade point averages, and achievement scores and if they participated in a class called communication 104. A 13-item scale designed by M.A. Buss determined the shyness. The group participation and achievement scores are asked in the study. It was important to find out if shyness would affect the level of group participation and achievement scores. The hypothesis was that the higher the subject rated for shyness, the less they would participate in academic and/or social groups. The achievement scores would be lower because of the fear of eye contact, social interaction with authoritative figures, such as the professor. The data were collected and a Pearson Correlation was used to determine significance. The findings concluded that there was a negative correlation between shyness and academic groups and a negative correlation between shyness and achievement scores. There was no significant correlation between shyness and GPA, social groups and if they took a communication 104 class. The hypothesis of academic group participation, achievement scores and shyness supported by significance found with a .05 2-tailed significance level.

INTRODUCTION
Social anxiety has four types called embarrassment, shame, audience anxiety, and shyness. Shyness is discomfort and inhibition in the presence of others (Buss, 1980). Shyness is revealed in a classroom by taking a seat far from the lecturer, and in small conversational group by remaining on the fringe of the group and listening rather than talking (Buss, 1980). Some shy people are less easily identified. Their behaviors change after talking. They seem to shrink and begin avoiding eye contact. They may appear to others that they are extroverts but their surface appearance is “not really” them (Marshal, 1994). Heart rate is the most commonly used physiological measure in assessing social phobia (Buss, 1980).Shyness is compared to participation in social and academic groups and levels. It is believed that because of shyness, the individual will not participate in any social activity and grades could suffer. Marshal (1994) claims that shy people choose educational paths and eventually careers solely in terms of their social anxiety. One researcher studying shy students determined that his subjects took a distinctly passive approach to their own educational development and failed to use available resources such as academic advisers or counselors because of their fear of authorities. The avoidance led to discouragement and if they managed to enter higher education, they selected a career with least social interaction such as computer-related work, accounting and various types of research. Many people with this social anxiety dropped out of school early and some of them got their GED (graduate equivalency degree). Skill deficit is believed to be present if an individual does not possess the skills necessary for successful social interaction. A performance deficit is believed to exist when a client possesses the skills necessary for successful interactions, but is inhibited from performing adequately in certain situations, (Bellack & Hersen, 1998). Bruch (1989) suggested that if children do not have opportunities to learn social skills they might learn to fear new situations because they are unsure how to interact properly. The purpose of the study is to determine if shy individuals have difficulty participating or if they do participate in groups and if their grades suffer from their shyness. This study will give insight on why some individuals may have had problems with their grades and social acceptance in school.


METHOD
Participants Seventy-six individuals are students at Missouri Western State College in Northwest Missouri, participated in this study. All subjects were treated with ethical principle in accordance with “Ethical Principles of Psychology and Code of Conduct, “(American Psychological Association, 1992).Materials An 18-item shyness scale including items added to determine GPA, ACT scores, group participation, and if they had, Communication 104 class was used. Some questions contained forced choice, open ended, and likert type with a few reversed key items. Procedure One student researcher went to two classrooms. The classrooms are Psychology 101 students. The subjects were asked to do a survey determining shyness v. participation in programs, GPA, ACT, and if they took Communication 104. The recordings included a likert type scale and some forced choice.


RESULTS
A Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to calculate for the relationship between shyness and grade point averages. A weak correlation that was not significant was found (r(74)=.168,p>.05). Shyness is not related to grade point averages in the course. A Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to calculate for the relationship between shyness and if they took a class called communication 104. A weak correlation that was not significant was found (r(74) = .050,p>.05). Shyness is not related to participation in communication 104. A Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to calculate for the relationship between shyness and ACT scores. A negative correlation was found (r(74) = -.240,p>.05), indicating a significant relationship between the two variables. Shy individuals tend to have lower ACT scores. A Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to calculate for the relationship between shyness and academic group participation. A negative correlation was found (r(74) = -.242,p>.05), indicating a small but significant relationship between the two variables. Shy individuals tend not to participate in academic programs. A Pearson Correlation Coefficient was used to calculate for the relationship between shyness and social group participation. A negative correlation was found (r(74) = -.207,p>.05), indicating a small but significant relationship between the two variables. Shy individuals tend not to participate in social programs.


DISCUSSION
In the experiment, seventy-six subjects from Missouri Western State College in Northwest Missouri were involved in this study. Seventy-six subjects’ data were analyzed. The subjects filled out an 18-item scale. Thirteen items measuring the level of shyness, the remainder five items measured academic/social group participation, GPA, ACT scores, and if they had a class called communication 104. The data were collected and a Pearson Correlation Coefficient was conducted. The original hypothesis was the level of group participation, achievement scores and GPA would be lower if the shyness scores were elevated. When the data were analyzed, the hypothesis that shyness had an effect on academic groups and ACT scores was supported with a small significance. The hypothesis was not supported that shyness had an effect on social groups and if they participated in communication 104. The results found in the study contradict research by Marshall (1994). The work was not completely consistent with their study. He said that one study showed that 83 percent of shy subjects were restricted by their anxieties in school activities and academic functioning. Failure in the school system reinforced their movement away from the group. The limitation in this study was that the subjects were college students, and the very shy may have chosen not to attend college, making it a restricted range. Therefore, it is hard to generalize the results to the public. Extraneous variables could have been a factor such as other reasons for the achievement scores to be high or low. The data analyzed indicated that the more social and academic programs the subjects participated in the lower the GPA they had. Future research could be done on the effects of academic/social participation affect on GPA (grade point averages). More research needed on shyness and ACT scores to determine a cause and effect relationship.


REFERENCES
Bellack, A. S.& Hersen, M. (1998). Behavior Assessment: A Practical Handbook (4thed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon. Bruch, M.A. (1989). Familial and developmental antecedents of social phobia: Issues and findings. Clinical Psychology Review, 9, 37-47. Buss, A. H. (1980). Self-Consciousness and Social anxiety. San Francisco, CA: W.H. Freeman Co. Marshall, J. R. (1994). Social Phobia: From Shyness to Stage Fright. New York, NY: Basic Books.


APPENDIX 1
The scale of 1-5 below apply to questions 1-13 only.1 = never 2 = somewhat never3 = neither4 = somewhat always5 = always1. I feel tense when I am with people I don’t know well. 1 2 3 4 5

2. I am socially somewhat awkward.

1 2 3 4 5

3. I do not find it difficult to ask other people for information.

1 2 3 4 5

4. I am often uncomfortable at parties and other social functions.

1 2 3 4 5

5. When in a group of people, I have trouble thinking of the right things to talk about.

1 2 3 4 5

6. It does not take me long to overcome my shyness in new situations.

1 2 3 4 5

7. It is hard for me to act natural when I am meeting with new people.

1 2 3 4 5

8. I feel nervous when speaking to someone in authority.

1 2 3 4 5

9. I have no doubts about my social competence.

1 2 3 4 5

10. I have trouble looking someone right in the eye.

1 2 3 4 5

11. I feel inhibited in social situations.

1 2 3 4 5

12. I do not find it hard to talk to strangers.

1 2 3 4 5

13. I am more shy with members of the opposite sex.

1 2 3 4 5

14. What is your grade point average ( If you don’t know the one in college refer to what it was in high school)__________? 15. What is your ACT score?

A.< 17B. 17-18C. 19-20D. 21-23E. over 24F. don’t know

16. How many social functions such as (sorority or fraternity, religious organizations etc..) do you currently belong to?A. 0B. 1-5C. 6-10D. 11 and above

17. How many academic programs (such as math club, psychology club etc..) do you belong to?A. 0B. 1-5C. 6-10D. 11 and above

18. Have you taken or are currently enrolled in an oral communication 104?A. yesB. No


APPENDIX 2

Submitted 5/1/01 12:08:29 PM
Last Edited 5/2/01 4:39:39 AM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

Rated by 0 users. Users who logon can rate manuscripts and write reviews.

© 2017 National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse. All rights reserved. The National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse is not responsible for the content posted on this site. If you discover material that violates copyright law, please notify the administrator. This site receives money through the Google AdSense program when users are directed to useful commercial sites. We do not encourage or condone clicking on the displayed ads unless you have a legitimate interest in the advertisement.