Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Self-Monitoring Scale

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_82-1




Self-monitoring is a personality variable defined as the extent to which individuals are willing and able to engage in the expressive control of their public self-presentations, which is measured using the Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS; Snyder 1974; Snyder and Gangestad 1986). Recent work indicates that self-monitoring is better described as comprising two distinct forms of self-presentation, acquisitive and protective. Accordingly, researchers have repurposed the SMS to assess these two self-monitoring dimensions (Wilmot et al. 2015).


Self-monitoring (Snyder 1974) is a major construct of interest in the personality and social psychological literature. Traditionally, self-monitoring has been assessed using total SMS scores, which are interpreted as tapping a single, unitary variable that is categorically distributed (i.e., high vs. low self-monitors; Snyder and Gangestad 1986). At the turn of the century, quantitative reviews appeared to provide...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Brendan Clark
    • 1
  1. 1.Wichita State UniversityWichitaUSA