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Psychol Bull. 2000 Jul;126(4):530-55.

Self-monitoring: appraisal and reappraisal.

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Department of Psychology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque 87131, USA.


Theory and research on self-monitoring have accumulated into a sizable literature on the impact of variation in the extent to which people cultivate public appearances in diverse domains of social functioning. Yet self-monitoring and its measure, the Self-Monitoring Scale, are surrounded by controversy generated by conflicting answers to the critical question, Is self-monitoring a unitary phenomenon? A primary source of answers to this question has been largely neglected--the Self-Monitoring Scale's relations with external criteria. We propose a quantitative method to examine the self-monitoring literature and thereby address major issues of the controversy. Application of this method reveals that, with important exceptions, a wide range of external criteria tap a dimension directly measured by the Self-Monitoring Scale. We discuss what this appraisal reveals about with self-monitoring is and is not.

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