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Date:2/11/2008

EVANSTON, Ill. --- Research tends to focus on the positives of self-monitoring -- a personality characteristic that accounts for how attuned individuals are to societal conventions as well as the degree to which appropriateness controls their behavior and moderates how they present themselves to others.

High self-monitors are social chameleons, says Northwestern University researcher Michael E. Roloff. And, because theyre quick to pick up on social cues, are socially adept and unlikely to say things upsetting to others, they are generally well-liked and sought after.

"Research finds them to be excellent negotiators and far more likely to be promoted at work than their low self-monitoring peers.

But theres a downside for high self-monitors when it comes to their romantic relationships.

High self-monitors may appear to be the kind of people we want to have relationships with, but they themselves are less committed to and less happy in their relationships than low self-monitors, said the Northwestern professor of communication studies.

In The Dark Side of Self-Monitoring: How High Self-Monitors View Their Romantic Relationships in the journal Communication Reports, Roloff and co-authors Courtney N. Wright and Adrienne Holloway present their findings from a study of 97 single young adults.

The desire to alter ones personality to appropriately fit a given situation or social climate prevents high self-monitors from presenting their true selves during intimate interactions with their romantic partners, says Roloff. High self-monitors are very likeable and successful people. However, it appears theyre just not deep.

Their propensity to self-censor prompts them to avoid face-threatening interactions that more honest self-disclosures potentially provide. The result: the partners of high self-monitors may be completely in the dark about the extent of their high self-monitoring partners degree of commitmen
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Contact: Wendy Leopold
w-leopold@northwestern.edu
847-491-4890
Northwestern University
Source:Eurekalert

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