ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 21 ›› Issue (7): 1220-1228.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2013.01220

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Shyness: A Review of Evidence from Behavioural Genetics

CHEN Yingmin;GAO Fengqiang;HAN Lei   

  1. (School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250014, China)
  • Received:2012-10-19 Online:2013-07-15 Published:2013-07-15
  • Contact: GAO Fengqiang

Abstract: Shyness refers to, discomfort and/or inhibition in social situations that interferes one's pursuing for interpersonal or professional goals. It often manifests as excessive self-focus, preoccupation with one's thoughts, and a variety of emotional and physiological responses. Recent years have witnessed the upsurge of behavioural genetic approach in the study of the causes of shyness. Findings from both twins studies and molecular genetics studies have demonstrated that shyness has important genetic underpinnings, with particularly strong associations with the short gene 5-HTTLPR. Shyness is the consequence of the complex interactions between genes and also between genes and environment.

Key words: shyness, behavioral genetics, molecular genetics, gene, 5-HTTLPR