Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: October 03, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956253 | Print ISBN: 9781412916707 | Online ISBN: 9781412956253| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Catherine D. Rawn
Self-monitoring is a personality trait that captures differences in the extent to which people control the image they present to others in social situations. High self-monitors are motivated and skilled at altering their behavior to influence the impressions others have of them. In contrast, low self-monitors tend to focus on remaining true to their inner attitudes by presenting a relatively consistent image of themselves to others regardless of the situation. The theory of self-monitoring was introduced by Mark Snyder in 1974 at a time when personality and social psychologists were grappling with two fundamental debates. First, the impact of personality traits versus the situation on behavior was a source of contention between personality and social psychologists. Second, the disconnect between inner attitudes and external behavior was also perplexing researchers at that time. Self-monitoring offered a partial resolution to these debates by introducing an individual difference variable that addressed both sides ...