Social Anxiety

Mark R. Leary and Robin Mark Kowalski

July 4, 1997
ISBN 9781572302631
Price: $34.00
244 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
Copyright Date: 1995

Social anxiety is a pervasive part of everyday life. Whether experienced during public speaking, in casual conversation, or in interactions with a boss, a potential romantic partner, or a complete stranger, feelings of anxiety, uncertainty, and awkwardness are often the consequence of quite ordinary encounters. Why does social anxiety occur? Why are some people more prone to it than others? A complete and authoritative review of the latest theory and research, this book examines the situational, dispositional, and evolutionary causes of social anxiety, its physiological, cognitive, and emotional aspects, and strategies for prevention and treatment. Special features include scales for measuring different manifestations of social anxiety as well as concise boxed segments highlighting topics of particular interest.

“...well written and engaging without sacrificing scholarship....A valuable addition to a psychology collection, which will serve a variety of audiences, undergraduate through professional.”


“Dr. Leary is an established expert and acknowledged master of the field, and Dr. Kowalski is an up-and-coming young star. Their work has extraordinary range and offers countless useful insights. Researchers, practitioners, and the curious public will all find smooth prose and great wisdom in this book. It is an integrative, important, state-of-the-art analysis of a common component of our shared human drama, our fears of what others may be thinking of us.”

—Rowland S. Miller, PhD, Sam Houston State University

“Leary and Kowalski provide an entertaining yet highly informative theoretical discussion of the causes, concomitants, and consequences of social anxiety. Their review of the vast literature on social and related anxieties is both thorough and scholarly. Social Anxiety is extraordinarily comprehensive and a delight to read. I recommend it highly to my social and clinical psychology colleagues.”

—James A. Shepperd, PhD, University of Florida

“This is a fascinating and authoritative work on social anxiety. Leary and Kowalski do a thorough and thoughtful job of covering the research literature on this important topic. It is a valuable resource for readers and therapists, as well as anyone who is curious about the basic human project of getting along with others. It is pleasant and easy to read, yet sophisticated enough for the expert. It covers the latest theories and research findings.”

—Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, E. B. Smith Professor of Psychology, author of Losing Control and Meanings of Life

Table of Contents

1. The Stage Fright of Everyday Life

2. The Interpersonal Basis of Social Anxiety

3. Self-Presentational Motivation

4. Self-Presentational Expectancies

5. Self-Presentational Disasters

6. Trait Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

7. Subjective Aspects of Social Anxiety: Physiology,Cognition, and Emotion

8. Interpersonal Behavior

9. Chasing Away the Butterflies

About the Authors

Mark R. Leary, PhD, is Professor of Psychology at Wake Forest University. His research interests focus on social motivation and emotion, particularly processes involving self-presentation, social anxiety, and self-esteem. The author of a number of books, he is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Robin Mark Kowalski, PhD, has taught at Wake Forest University and Western Carolina University, where she is currently Assistant Professor of Psychology. Her research interests include social anxiety, social psychological factors in health and illness, gender and aggression, and complaining. Her research on complaining has received national attention, including an appearance on NBC's Today Show.


Students and professionals in personality, social, and clinical psychology, counseling, and communication.

Serves as a text for undergraduate and graduate-level courses.

Course Use

Serves as an excellent text for undergraduate and graduate-level courses.