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 Self Monitoring: Do you Censor What you Say? 


Your score is 57, on a scale of 0 (low self-monitor) to 100 (high self-monitor). You are neither a high nor low self-monitor.

Self-monitoring refers to how a person behaves in different contexts (ie, work, visiting friends, or shopping). A high self-monitoring person is someone who monitors and adapts their own behavior to match their surroundings. A low self monitor tends to use their internal values and beliefs to figure out how to behave.

In other words, a low self monitor will exhibit the same behavior in different contexts, whether it's a meeting at work, softball game with friends, or family reunion. A high self monitor will act differently in these different contexts, perhaps acting more formally at work or cracking jokes with friends, if that is what others are doing.

High self monitors:

  • show variability in behavior in different contexts, and are extremely flexibile in adapting to their current situation
  • tend to have different public and private personas and are careful about mixing different social circles
  • tend to make better managers and do better in jobs that involve influencing other people (sales, marketing, hiring, politicians)

Low self monitors:

  • use internal values and beliefs in deciding how to behave
  • act the same in most social circles
  • can be relied upon for opinions as they tend to say it like they see it
  • tend to be better in research and project-based work

This test is based on work done in the 70's by a psychology researcher name Mark Snyder (The Many Me's of the Self-Monitor)

Identity, as danah boyd (MIT Media Lab) argues in her identity thesis, can be seen as having two levels: an inner identity, and that identity which we present to the world. Low self monitors tie their inner and outer identity together, meaning that they show their true emotions to those around them. High self monitors hold their inner identity separate from their outer identity, meaning that they can adapt and change how others see them as needs be. In the on-line community, high self monitors are more likely to have multiple email addresses or IM accounts to help mitigate and control their appearance and knowledge about them.

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