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Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia$
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Louis A. Schmidt and Jay Schulkin

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195118872

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195118872.001.0001

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Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia: Treatment and Intervention

Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia: Treatment and Intervention

(p.273) 13 Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia: Treatment and Intervention
Extreme Fear, Shyness, and Social Phobia

Franklins R. Schneier

Oxford University Press

This chapter reports the evidence from the author's work with highly sensitive people. It also describes its clinical relevance to understanding and treating shyness. It shows that there may be a different way to understand at least some of what is inherited which predisposes certain individuals to feel extreme fear and shyness. In addition, it explains the research that depicts that they may also be more affected by aversive experiences, making them more prone to actually become shy or fearful. But it is proposed that vulnerability, negative affect, fearfulness, or shyness are not as generally useful and accurate descriptors of this trait as sensitivity is. It also examines the concept of sensitivity as others have observed it, directly or indirectly. Next, it suggests how extreme shyness and fearfulness may in many cases arise from this fundamental trait rather than make up the fundamental trait. Furthermore, it explains the implications of this new understanding for developmental outcomes and treatment. The author's research has noted that sensory-processing sensitivity cannot be equated with either introversion or negative emotionality.

Keywords:   shyness, fearfulness, sensitivity, fear

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