Master's Theses

Date of Award

Fall 1987

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Thomas T. Jackson


This study was designed to assess the relationship between shyness and several aspects of sensitivity to nonverbal communication. Correlations were made between scores obtained on a shyness scale and scores of overall nonverbal sensitivity, sensitivity to positive nonverbal messages, sensitivity to negative nonverbal messages, and the judging of positive nonverbal messages as being negative nonverbal messages. Subjects were 38 male and 50 female undergraduate students. The subjects viewed a number of videotaped scenes and made judgments about the scenes. These judgments were scored to determine the various aspects pertaining to nonverbal sensitivity. The subjects also completed a shyness scale, a depression scale, and a loneliness scale. It was hypothesized that the shyness scores would be (a) negatively correlated with the scores of overall nonverbal sensitivity; (b) negatively correlated with the scores of sensitivity to positive nonverbal messages; (c) positively correlated with the scores of sensitivity to negative nonverbal messages; and (d) positively correlated with the number of positive nonverbal messages judged as negative nonverbal messages. No significant correlations pertaining to the hypotheses were obtained. The results that were found are discussed along with speculations and possible explanations for the findings.


Copyright 1987 Brett Murray


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