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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 44-48

Preparation and evaluation of psychometric quality of shyness questionnaire for students of Universities of Isfahan province

1 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
2 Counseling Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
3 Psychosomatic Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Date of Web Publication25-Jan-2016

Correspondence Address:
Rahele Samouei
No. 67, Talar Neighborhood, Jey Street, Town - 8199939637, Isfahan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-2296.168503

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Goal: Given the need of scientific community for suitable psychometric tools for determination of psychological characteristics, this study aims to prepare a shyness questionnaire for university students of Isfahan province and evaluate the psychometric quality of the questionnaire. Methods: This study uses descriptive and assessment method. In this work, 500 students from various Universities in Isfahan province were selected at random and answered the preliminary version of the prepared shyness questionnaire. Then the reliability of the questionnaire was investigated using Cronbach's alpha, even-odd method, and test-retest method. Findings: Investigating the psychometric quality of the questionnaire showed that it has suitable internal consistency. The reliability was calculated to be 0.83 by using Cronbach's alpha, 0.7 using the even-odd method, and 0.97 using test-retest method, which indicates good reliability. Conclusions: Given the acceptable psychometric quality of the questionnaire, this 44-item form can be a suitable tool for investigating shyness among students for various research purposes.

Keywords: Psychometric quality, shyness questionnaire, students

How to cite this article:
Samouei R, Toghiani Z, Nasiri H. Preparation and evaluation of psychometric quality of shyness questionnaire for students of Universities of Isfahan province. Int J Educ Psychol Res 2016;2:44-8

How to cite this URL:
Samouei R, Toghiani Z, Nasiri H. Preparation and evaluation of psychometric quality of shyness questionnaire for students of Universities of Isfahan province. Int J Educ Psychol Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2019 Dec 6];2:44-8. Available from: http://www.ijeprjournal.org/text.asp?2016/2/1/44/168503

  Introduction Top

Shyness like most behavioral problems is a psychological and social phenomenon; and due to various reasons only shows itself during the growth period.[1] Hopko et al., believes shyness to be a form of social phobia and consider it to be a form of psychological disorder.[2] Durmus (2007) believes that shyness is a characteristic of personality and attitude or an inhibition mode.[3] However, Condon has a different view regarding shyness and believes that shyness can hinder social interactions and development of social skills.[4]

Even though shyness is a personal problem, due to it being accompanied with various social and emotional problems [5] such as social anxiety, social phobia, lack of self-esteem, lack of social skills, and incompatibility with the crowd can be classified as a social disorder;[6] and in many cases can hinder the development of latent abilities, creativities, and responsibilities.[7] In other word, there are people with great talents and abilities who fail to use their talents due to their shyness.[8]

Among other consequences of shyness are problem in social interactions, a tendency toward avoiding social interactions and feeling of defeat in social interactions, fear of self-expression, sensitivity about reactions of others about self and visible physical signs of stress,[9] paying excess attention to negative aspects of personality, indulgence of weaknesses and ignoring of strengths, unnatural personal judgments,[10] and many other problems.

According to some studies, shyness is followed by adverse effects on psychological health;[11] for example timid people show higher ratio of depression [12] and many studies show that shyness is often accompanied with other problems such as peer rejection, loneliness, and depression.[13],[14],[15],[16]

Given the adverse consequences of shyness and its effects on people's lives, studies regarding shyness are of great importance. In order to achieve an accurate and reliable evaluation of shyness, one needs to use effective tools with high psychometric quality, which are preferably tailored toward the target group for the study. Since there was no suitable research questionnaire for investigating shyness in Isfahan province, creating a suitable and reliable tool for this end is of the highest priority.

In this regard, Zimbardo (1977) was the first to provide a measure for shyness by the expansion of 44-item measure of Stanford.[17] Later several other measures for shyness were proposed by various researchers including revised 14-item form of Cheek-Briggs [18] and shyness questionnaire of Hopko et al.[2]

The Cronbach's alpha and retest for revised 13-item questionnaire of Cheek and Buss were calculated by Hopko et al., to be 0.86 and 0.88, respectively, while Crozier calculated a Cronbach's alpha of 0.79, Chou (2005) calculated the Cronbach's alpha of 0.91, and Demir and Koydemir calculated the Cronbach's alpha to be 0.90 and 0.88 after 45 days.[2],[18],[19]

In 2011, Rai investigated the validity of revised measure of Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale (RCBSS) on 152 students and reported that this measure is a strong psychometric test and that the results of this measure remain unchanged 6 months after the initial test.[11]

In another study, Ding et al.,(2014) investigated the validity of shyness questionnaire on 580 elementary school students and proposed a single factor model for shyness that had suitable psychometric characteristics.[5]

In his study, Pour Meghdad used a questionnaire to investigate freshman to senior high school students in Tehran. This questionnaire was saturated from five factors of (1) feeling of inadequacy in social skills and interactions, (2) need for social acceptance, (3) self-awareness, (4) feeling of insecurity in social interactions, and (5) lack of temerity and inferiority complex.[20]

Rajabi and Abasi in their study investigated the structure of Persian version of RCBSS on 182 selected students from Shahid Chamran University of Ahwaz and along with verification of validity and credibility of the scale, showed the three factors of lack of decisiveness and self-esteem, anxiety and social estrangement, and shyness in dealing with unknown people to be the main factors effecting shyness.[21]

Given the importance of this subject, this study aims to determine the psychometric characteristics of shyness scale using a sample from University students of Isfahan province.

  Methods Top

This study uses descriptive and assessment methods. The statistical population consisted of all students studying in public, Payam Noor and Azad Universities of Isfahan province among which 100 male and female students were selected for participation in the preliminary stage, and 500 students were selected for participation in the final stage of the study.

Frequency distribution of students based on the field of study (social studies, Engineering and Technology and Medical Science) and semester.

The cluster and category sampling method was used to select the sample from the statistical population. To this end, five universities were selected from all Universities of Isfahan province using cluster method and few fields of study and academic semesters were also randomly selected from all possible fields of study and academic semesters, respectively.

The items of shyness questionnaire were selected based on English questionnaires related scientific literature, and clinical symptoms reported by psychologists. The initial crude questionnaire containing 60-item were presented to several university professors and experts in the field. After initial evaluation and necessary changes, the preliminary questionnaire was prepared with 52-item and used on 100 individual students. Then the information was extracted from the filled questionnaires, and statistical analysis was carried out using SPSS software (Version 15, Chicago). Then eight questions with unsuitable validity and reliability were eliminated, and a secondary questionnaire with 44-item was prepared. This questionnaire was used to investigate 500 students from same Universities and academic backgrounds (including fields of study and academic semester), and the gathered information was again analyzed using SPSS software (Version 15, Chicago). From the second sample, a group of 30 students were selected and participated in retest by completing the questionnaire again 3 weeks after the initial study.

It is worth noting that in this 44-item questionnaire, each question had five answers (never, rarely, sometimes, often, and always) and the scoring for questions 1, 11, 13, 15, 18, 19, 21, 23, 28, 36, 41 considered never to be zero and always to be four while scoring of questions 2-10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 20, 22, 24-27, 29-35, 37-40, 42-44 considered never to be four and always to be zero.

  Findings Top

Demographic analysis of participants showed that most (51.4%) were between 23 and 26-year-old, and 51.2 of participants were in their third or fourth academic semester.

After the preliminary study and reducing the number of questions, the psychometric analysis was carried out for the final, 44-item questionnaire. The descriptive result for the first quarter was 87, the result for the third quarter was 106, and mean (average) was calculated to be 95. These results show a normal distribution in the data.

The following analysis results were also gathered:

  • The internal homology of questions was calculated using the score for each question and the total score of the questionnaire. The results of this analysis showed a positive and meaningful relation between the score of each question and total score of the questionnaire [Table 1]
  • The reliability of the questionnaire was investigated using Cronbach's alpha, which was calculated to be 0.86 for female students, 0.80 for male students and 0.83 for all of the students
  • The reliability of the questionnaire was also investigated using retest method after 3 weeks and resulted in a meaningful score of 0.97.
Table 1: Internal homology of shyness questionnaire

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

The goal of this study was to prepare and evaluate the psychometric quality of shyness questionnaire for students of Universities located in Isfahan province. Based on the results of the preliminary study, eight questions were eliminated due to low detection power. The Cronbach's alpha was calculated to be 0.83 for the final version of the questionnaire. The credibility and reliability of the questionnaire were 0.86 for female and 0.80 for male students. The even-odd test showed a reliability of 0.7 which is probably due to a reduction in the number of questions while dividing them into two halves. Test-retest method also showed a reliability of 0.97.

In other studies, many researchers proposed scales for investigating shyness including the first ever such scale proposed by Zimbardo, in 1977[17] revised 14 question Cheek-Briggs scale,[18] shyness questionnaire by Hopko et al.,[2] and other questionnaires reported by Crozier (2005), Hopko et al., Chou and DemiKoydemir,[2],[18],[19] Rai,[11] and Ding et al.,[5] all of which show desirable psychometric quality for the proposed scales.

In Iran, very few studies investigated this subject in limited geographical and demographical situations. Among those studies, Rajabi and Abasi evaluated the psychometric quality of the translated RCBSS and Pour Meghdad created a shyness questionnaire and investigated the high school students of Tehran which showed desirable results.

In this study, the prepared data gathering tool were tested on university students of Isfahan province and after preliminary and final studies; a desirable psychometric quality was achieved. This questionnaire is suitable for study and group comparison, but its use is not recommended for clinical and diagnostic purposes. The reason for that in this study, clinical and normal groups was not used in order to determine the cutoff point of the questionnaire. A suggestion for future studies was to determine the cutoff point of this questionnaire and use the questionnaire on different groups and prepare norm table for different characteristics.

In general, given the results of this study, the prepared shyness questionnaire has acceptable reliability and validity and is useful for research purposes and in order to investigate students or other similar populations.


University students of Isfahan City.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Wolfe CD, Bell MA. The integration of cognition and emotion during infancy and early childhood: Regulatory processes associated with the development of working memory. Psychol Brain Sci 2007;65:3-13.  Back to cited text no. 1
Hopko DR, Stowell J, Jones WH, Armento ME, Cheek JM. Psychometric properties of the Revised Cheek and Buss Shyness Scale. J Pers Assess 2005;84:185-92.  Back to cited text no. 2
Durmus E. The perceptions of shy and nonshy students. Ankara Univ J Fac Educ Sci 2007;40:243-68.  Back to cited text no. 3
Condon M, Ruth-Sahd L. Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice guidelines for educators and advisors. Open J Nurs 2013;3:503-15.  Back to cited text no. 4
Ding X, Liu J, Coplan RJ, Chen X, Li D, Sang B. Self-reported shyness in Chinese children: Validation of the children's shyness questionnaire and exploration of its links with adjustment and the role of coping. Pers Individ Dif 2014;68:183-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
Zimbardo PG, Radle SL. The Shy Child: A Parent's Guide to Preventing and Overcoming Shyness from Infancy to Adulthood. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2001.  Back to cited text no. 6
Afrooz GH. Psychology of shyness and treatment methods. Tehran: Islamic Culture Publishing Office; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 7
Jafari A. The effect of positive thinking skills to adolescent shyness. J Psychol Res 2003;5:86-101.  Back to cited text no. 8
Gheib FM, Ahqr GH. Relationship between emotional intelligence and shyness in university. J Appl Psychol 2009;4:101-86.  Back to cited text no. 9
Izgiç F, Akyüz G, Dogan O, Kugu N. Social phobia among university students and its relation to self-esteem and body image. Can J Psychiatry 2004;49:630-4.  Back to cited text no. 10
Rai R. Shyness and Sociability Re-examined: Psychometrics, Interactions, and Correlates. A Thesis Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree, Master of Science; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 11
Bell IR, Jasnoski ML, Kagan J, King DS. Is allergic rhinitis more frequent in young adults with extreme shyness? A preliminary survey. Psychosom Med 1990;52:517-25.  Back to cited text no. 12
Chen X, Wang L, Wang Z. Shyness-sensitivity and social, school, and psychological adjustment in rural migrant and urban children in China. Child Dev 2009;80:1499-513.  Back to cited text no. 13
Chen X, Cen G, Li D, He Y. Social functioning and adjustment in Chinese children: the imprint of historical time. Child Dev 2005;76:182-95.  Back to cited text no. 14
Liu J, Chen X, Li D, French D. Shyness-sensitivity, aggression, and adjustment in urban Chinese adolescents at different historical times. J Res Adolesc 2012;22:393-9.  Back to cited text no. 15
Liu J, Coplan RJ, Chen X, Li D, Ding X, Zhou Y. Unsociability and shyness in Chinese children: Concurrent and predictive relations with indices of adjustment. Soc Dev 2014;23:119-36.  Back to cited text no. 16
Zimbardo PO. Shyness: What it is? what to Do about it? Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley; 1977. Koydemir S, Demir A. Shyness and cognitions: An examination of Turkish university students. J Psychol 2008;142:633-44.  Back to cited text no. 17
Chou KL. Assessing shyness in Chinese older adults. Aging Ment Health 2005;9:456-60.  Back to cited text no. 18
Koydemir S, Demir A. Shyness and cognitions: An examination of Turkish university students. J Psychol 2008;142:633-44.  Back to cited text no. 19
Purmeghdad Z. Construction and standardization of adolescent shyness questionnaire. Tehran: The Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Faculty of Psychology and Social Sciences; 2003.  Back to cited text no. 20
Rajabi GH, Abbasi GH. Persian version of the revised scale factor structure shyness among students. Iran J Psychiatry Clin Psychol 2011;16:456-67.  Back to cited text no. 21


  [Table 1]


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