Self-Concept, Self-Monitoring and the Relationship of Human Social Interaction

Crystal Rose Fonseca, University of Rhode Island


Self-monitoring research has developed into a significant literature that spans across disciplines. However, little research has examined the influence of self-monitoring on the development of the self-concept, which sets the stage for the current research endeavor. In the first study, it was hypothesized that directional questions "Are you extraverted?" would influence the self-concept of self-monitors to a greater extent, as they would be more likely to generate supporting thoughts which would mediate this effect. Findings generally supported the end effect of the hypothesis, but not the mediating process with high self-monitors reported a greater change in self-ratings after receiving a directional question. While low self-monitors were influenced more by thoughts that they retrieved in response to directional questions.

The second study tested the assumptions of a proposed model of self-concept development that implicated self-monitoring as playing a central role. Self-monitoring correlated significantly and positively with similar magnitude with both communication and psychological measures. These results point to self-monitoring being both a communication and psychology measure. Participants' self-ratings changed on most domains of the Big Five traits from time 1 to time 2 indicating that appraisal of both communication acts and psychological traits influenced their self-concept as the findings of these two studies support.