Frontal Brain Electrical Activity in Shyness and Sociability Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A number of studies have shown that shyness and sociability may be two independent personality traits that are distinguishable across a variety of measures and cultures. Utilizing recent frontal activation–emotion models as a theoretical framework, this study examined the pattern of resting frontal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in undergraduates who self-reported high and low shyness and sociability. Analyses revealed that shyness was associated with greater relative right frontal EEG activity, whereas sociability was associated with greater relative left frontal EEG activity. Also, different combinations of shyness and sociability were distinguishable on the basis of resting frontal EEG power. Although high-shy/high-social and high-shy/low-social subjects both exhibited greater relative right frontal EEG activity, they differed significantly on EEG power in the left, but not right, frontal lead. High-shy/high-social subjects exhibited significantly less EEG power (i.e., more activity) in the left frontal lead compared with the high-shy/low-social subjects. These findings suggest that in distinguishing individual differences in personality and personality subtypes, it is important to consider not only frontal EEG asymmetry measures, but also the pattern of absolute EEG power in each frontal hemisphere.

publication date

  • July 1999