Louis A. Schmidt profile picture

Louis A. Schmidt

Ph.D. (Maryland)

Professor & Science Research Chair   
in Early Determinants of Mental Health

Director, Child Emotion Laboratory

Fellow, Association for Psychological Science

2023 Pickering Award Recipient for Outstanding Lifetime Contributions to Developmental Psychology
in Canada

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour
McMaster University
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1, Canada


905-525-9140  |  ext. 23028 (office)  |  ext. 24798 (lab)


Research Interests & Foci

- personality and socioemotional development
- temperament and affect regulation
- developmental and individual differences
- typical and atypical development 
- developmental psychophysiology and psychopathology
- psychometrics, measurement and contextual issues

Selected Recent Representative Publications

Note: Names of students and research trainees are underlined.

Brook, C.A., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Psychometric perspectives on shyness across the lifespan: Measurement invariance and mean level differences in ages 4 to 86 years. Applied Developmental Science, 26, 1-14.

Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (In press). How biology shapes the development of shyness within specific contexts: A longitudinal, cross-lagged investigation. [A Special Issue in Honor of Jerome Kagan and His Research Legacy]. Developmental Psychology.

Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2024). Shyness and inhibitory control in preschool dyads: An actor-partner model of social behavior. Developmental Psychology, 60, 271-283.

Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2023). Shyness, inhibitory control, and social support seeking in preschoolers: Role of familiar and unfamiliar contexts. Emotion, 23, 1373-1384.

Hassan, R., Smith, C.L., Schmidt, L.A., Brook, C.A., Bell, M.A. (2023). Developmental patterns of children's shyness: Relations with physiological, emotional, and regulatory responses to being treated unfairly. Child Development 94, 1745-1761.

Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Inhibitory control, dyadic social behavior, and mental health difficulties in preschoolers. Child Development, 93, e251-e265

Hassan, R., Poole, K.L., Lahat, A., Willoughby, T., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Approach-avoidance conflict and shyness: A developmental investigation. Developmental Psychology, 57, 814-823.

Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Trajectories of behavioral avoidance in real time: Associations with temperament and physiological dysregulation in preschoolers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 209, 1-14.

Hassan, R., Willoughby, T., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Shyness and prosocial tendencies during adolescence: Prospective influence of two types of self-regulation. Emotion, 21, 1721-1730.

Hassan, R., Willoughby, T., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Development of shyness across adolescence: Reactivity, regulation, or both? Developmental Psychology, 57, 421-431. 

Hassan, R., Poole, K.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2020). Revisiting the double-edged sword of self-regulation: Linking shyness, attentional shifting, and social behavior in preschoolers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 196, 1-15. 

Khalesi, Z., Brook, C.A., Jetha, M.K., McNeely, H., Goldberg, J.O., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Revisiting shyness and sociability in schizophrenia: A psychometric examination of measurement invariance and mean level differences. Journal of Personality Assessment, 103, 833-841.

Kong, X., Brook, C.A., Li, J., Li, Y., & Schmidt, L.A. (In press). Shyness subtypes and associations with social anxiety: A comparison study of Canadian and Chinese children. Developmental Science.

Kong, X., Brook, C.A., Zhong, J., Liu, J., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Are cross-cultural shyness comparisons valid? Testing invariance with multigroup CFA and the alignment method across eastern and western cultures. Psychological Assessment, 34, 271-280.

MacGowan, T.L., Mirabelli, J., Obhi, S.S., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Observed shyness leads to more automatic imitation in early childhood. Developmental Psychobiology, 64,  1-13.

MacGowan, T.L., Colonnesi, C., Nikolic, M., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Expressions of positive shyness and Theory of Mind in children: A psychophysiological study. Cognitive Development, 61, 1-15.

MacGowan, T.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Getting to the heart of childhood empathy: Relations with shyness and respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Developmental Psychobiology, 63, 1-19.

MacGowan, T.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Helping as prosocial practice: Longitudinal relations among children’s shyness, helping behavior, and empathic response. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 209, 1-15.

MacGowan, T.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Preschoolers’ social cognitive development in the age of screen time ubiquity. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 24, 141-144.

Poole, K.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2023). Latent profiles of children’s shyness:  Behavioral, affective, and physiological components. Child Development, 94, 1068-1077.

Poole, K.L., Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2022). Two-factor structure of social-evaluative fear in children: Distinguishing fear of positive and negative evaluation in social anxiety. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 44, 800-810.

Poole, K.L., Hassan, R., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Temperamental shyness, frontal EEG theta/beta ratio, and social anxiety in children. Child Development, 92, 2006-2019.

Poole, K.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). While a shy child waits: Autonomic and affective responses during the anticipation and delivery of a speech. Emotion, 21, 1103-1113.

Poole, K. L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Vigilant or avoidant? Children's temperamental shyness, patterns of gaze, and physiology during social threat. Developmental Science, 24, 1-13.

Poole, K.L., Saigal, S., Van Lieshout, R.J., & Schmidt, L.A. (2020). Developmental programming of shyness: A longitudinal, prospective study across four decades. Development and Psychopathology, 32, 455-464.

Poole, K.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2020). Positive shyness in the brain: An examination of frontal EEG alpha asymmetry and delta-beta correlation in children. Child Development, 91, e1030-1045. 

Poole, K.L., & Schmidt, L.A. (2019). Smiling through the shyness: The adaptive function of positive affect in shy children. Emotion, 19, 160-170.

Schmidt, L.A., Brook, C.A., Hassan, R., MacGowan, T., Poole, K.L., & Jetha, M.K. (2023). iGen or shyGen: Generational differences in shyness. Psychological Science, 34, 705-713.

Tang, A., Lahat, A., Crowley, M.J., Wu, J., & Schmidt, L.A. (2021). Children’s shyness and neural responses to social exclusion: Patterns of midfrontal theta power usually not observed until adolescence. Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, 21, 1262-1275.

Tang, A., Lahat, A., Crowley, M.J., Wu, J., & Schmidt, L.A. (2019). Neurodevelopmental differences to social exclusion: An event-related neural oscillation study of children, adolescents, and adults. Emotion, 19, 520-532.

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