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Self & identity
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Self monitoring, the habit of subjectively assessing ones thoughts feelings and behavior in order to control ones performance in these areas to align to internal standards to afffect self perception or affect public perception.

Monitoring competence concerns the accuracy of the self knowledge generated.

As an observation method

Self monitoring as in self report is an observation method and refers to the systematic recording of one's own actions, thoughts and feelings for the purposes of changing these aspects of behavior, using, for example, behavior modification techniques.

Self monitoring in clinical setting

This is often included in clinical treatment settings where initial self monitoring is used to establish a baseline against which subsequent progress can be measured and reinforced. Such self evaluation can also be used as a self help technique to self manage areas of problem behavior

Self monitoring theory

Self-monitoring theory is a contribution to the psychology of personality, proposed by Mark Snyder in 1974. The theory refers to the process through which people regulate their own behavior in order to "look good" so that they will be perceived by others in a favorable manner. It distinguishes between high self-monitors, who monitor their behavior to fit different situations, and low self-monitors, who are more cross-situationally consistent. Snyder designed a questionnaire to assess self-monitoring called the Self-Monitoring Scale, based on the assumption that high self-monitoring could be defined as consisting of:

  1. High concern with the social appropriateness of one's actions;
  2. Use of social comparison information;
  3. Ability to monitor one's behavior to fit different situations;
  4. Ability to do this in specific situations;
  5. Trait variability

On his original version of the Self-Monitoring Scale, he found that Stanford University students scored significantly higher than psychiatric inpatients, but significantly lower than people in the acting profession. The theory is of interest in that it makes an original contribution to the debate on traits versus situationism. It effectively says that trait consistency can be found in low self-monitors, whereas a situationist framework is more appropriate for high self-monitors. Subsequent research using the self-monitoring scale, in which it has been analysed using factor analysis, has questioned whether the scale really - as Snyder believed - measures a homogeneous concept.

See also


Snyder, M. (1974). Self-monitoring of expressive behaviour. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Lennox, R. D., & Wolfe, R. N. (1984). Revision of the self-monitoring scale. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46(6), 1349-1364.

O’Cass, A. (2000). A psychometric evaluation of a revised version of the lennox and wolfe revised self-monitoring scale. Psychology & Marketing, 17(5), 397-419.

External links

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