Implicit self-theories of shyness : predictors and correlates in preadolescence /
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Implicit theories of shyness refer to a beUef that shyness is a fixed trait versus the belief that shyness is changeable and controllable. In this study, I explored the association between overall shyness and children's implicit self-theories of shyness, as well as between implicit self-theories of shyness and children's other shyness-related beliefs (perceptions of others' theories of shyness, shyness as a perceived problem, and ideas about treatment for shyness). Forty-six 10-12- year- old children (M = 10.74, SD = .88) were interviewed individually, filled out a set of questionnaires, and completed a computer-presented task. ' "^ As was expected, in ambiguous social situations, children perceived others' theories of shyness in a way that confirmed their own theories. The hypothesized curvilinear relation between shy and implicit self-theories of shyness was not found; instead, a linear positive relationship between these two variables emerged. Although implicit self-theories of shyness were not effective in predicting either the children's views of shyness as a perceived problem or children's ideas about treatment for shyness, some interesting results were found. Specifically, children's motivation to change their shyness correlated with their views of shyness as a problem for children in general and their perceptions of others' theories of shyness. Specific agents and strategies were regarded by children as having different effectiveness in their potential to change shyness. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings were discussed. Suggestions for future research were provided.