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How Shyness and Introversion can be a Strength

Are shyness and introversion cultural or innate, and do they help or hinder us negotiate today’s world? With Louis Schmidt, Sanna Balsari-Palsule and Joe Moran.

Shyness and introversion are both very common human characteristics, but why do they have so many different guises? Rajan Datar asks the developmental psychologist Louis Schmidt, the behavioural scientist Sanna Balsari-Palsule and the cultural historian Joe Moran.

(Photo: A lady hides behind a fan. Credit: Shan Pillay)

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41 minutes

Louis Schmidt

Louis Schmidt is Professor of Developmental Psychology at McMaster University in Ontario Canada and he studies the connection between shyness in children and brain development. His research on shy children and studies of children with low birth weights has revealed that we may be biologically wired to be shy.

Sanna Balsari-Palsule

Sanna Balsari-Palsule is a social psychologist with a PHD in Psychology at the University of Cambridge. Sanna's work predominantly deals with workplace behaviour, particularly on how introverts craft extroverted personas at work, and the influence of acting "out of character" on employees' well-being and organisational performance.

Joe Moran

Joe Moran is Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University. He explores the hidden world of shyness, how shy people have been affected by technology and social media, and asks why so many artists and actors tend to be shy. He also questions whether shyness should always be something to be overcome. Joe Moran’s latest book is Shrinking Violets: A field guide to Shyness.

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