Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Stranger Anxiety

  • Sujita K. KarEmail author
  • Meha Jain
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_695-1



Anxiety response on encounter with strangers during early infancy and childhood.


Human being is a social animal. Human interact with its environment in an intricate manner. The part of the environment that is repeatedly and consistently exposed to the individual becomes familiar over a period of time and the part of the environment that is never to rarely exposed remains unfamiliar to the individual. When it comes to human interaction, classically the unfamiliar persons were recognized as strangers. However, an individual may not interact with all the individuals with whom, he/she is repeatedly exposed; these individuals were called as familiar strangers (Agnel 1999; Paulos and Goodman 2004).

When anxiety is discussed from the developmental perspectives of an individual, anxiety to specific environmental stimuli or environmental change develops during the late part of the first year of life (Scher and Harel 2008)....

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryKing George’s Medical UniversityLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsAll India Institute of Medical SciencesPatnaIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Doug P. VanderLaan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Toronto MississaugaMississaugaCanada
  2. 2.Child, Youth and Family DivisionCentre for Addiction and Mental HealthTorontoCanada