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The Shyness Institute


The Shyness Institute is a non-profit research corporation founded in 1994 and is dedicated to research regarding shyness, social anxiety, and related anxiety disorders.

The Shyness Institute develops and documents work on Lynne Henderson's The Social Fitness Model, including The Social Fitness Manuals, The Shyness Reading List, Research Papers, Meditations, Practice Notes, and Handouts and Questionnaires from The Shyness Institute.

The Shyness Institutea lso provides public education in the areas of social interaction, shyness, and overall social/emotional wellness.

The Shyness Institute is associated with The Shyness Clinic a treatment center for shyness and social anxiety disorder.

Class available:


The Shyness Institute is dedicated to understanding shyness. It functions on a non-profit basis to support research related to the social conditions that promote shyness and to the phenomenology and treatment of shyness. A second mission is to increase public awareness through educational programs.

Founded in 1994 by Dr. Henderson, the Institute is a platform for grant-based research on shyness conducted by:

Research topics are selected on the basis of their theoretical and practical/clinical value. There is no preferential distribution of research results. Research will be published in academic journals and presented at a variety of professional conventions.

Research has focused on improved treatment methods for shyness and social anxiety disorder/social phobia and the role of affect/emotion in the phenomenon of shyness. We have studied perceptions of facial affect in shy vs. non-shy college students and shy and non-shy adolescents¹ use of technology in the Palo Alto School District . Another research vector with Leonard Horowitz has included analysis of video-taped interactions between individuals in ordinary social interaction, both shy and non-shy to study emotion and empathy in interpersonal situations. A third focus is on the efficacy of public education using our new Social Fitness Model. Classes are conducted by master's level coaches under the supervision of Dr. Henderson. Recent psychological research is used to suggest helpful social learning strategies for improved social fitness. Interventions will be tested and, if effective, will be used in the treatment of chronically shy and socially phobic clients at the Shyness Clinic.


  • Director: Lynne Henderson, Ph.D.
  • Co-director: Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D.
  • Telephone: +1-650-814-9210
  • Location: Berkeley, CA
  • E-mail: click here
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