Shyness Scale (SS)

Author of Tool: 

McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P.

Key references: 

McCroskey, J. C., & Richmond, V. P. (1982). Communication apprehension and shyness: Conceptual and operational distinctions. Central States Speech Journal, 33, 458-468. 

Primary use / Purpose: 

Measure of shyness - actual communication behaviour of reduced talking


This Shyness Scale (SS) measure is also referred to as the McCroskey Shyness Scale. It was developed to obtain individual's self-report of their shy behavior. Unlike many shyness scales that have been developed in the field of Psychology, this scale does not confound communication apprehension  with shy behavior. These are two very different constructs and adding items from both provide an uninterpretable score. Communication apprehension relates to fear and/or anxiety about communicating. Willingness to Communicate (WTC) relates to an orientation to initiate communication. Shyness relates to the actual communication behavior of reduced talking.


This measure has generated high alpha reliability estimates (>.90) and has excellent face validity. Research has indicated that it also has high predictive validity-distinct from either ommunication apprehension or willingness to communicate measures. 



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