Cross-cultural research confirms the universality of shyness. A large proportion of participants in all cultures reported experiencing shyness—from a low of 31% in Israel to a high of 57% in Japan and 55% in Taiwan. In Mexico, Germany, India, and Canada, shyness was closer to the 40% reported in the United States. Explanations of cultural differences in shyness have focused on the distinction between collectivist cultures, which promote interdependence, thus fostering concerns about giving offense, and individualistic cultures, which promote independence, fostering self-presentational concerns. How cultures assign credit for successful actions and blame for failures also contributes to the experience of shyness if credit is externalized and blame internalized.
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