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Strangers in a Strange LabHow Personality Shapes Our Initial Encounters with Others$
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William Ickes

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195372953

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195372953.001.0001

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(p.158) 10 Self-Monitoring
Strangers in a Strange Lab

William Ickes

Oxford University Press

High self-monitors are people who act like “social chameleons”: they change the way they present themselves depending upon who they are with. In contrast, low self-monitors are simply themselves: they don't try to be “all things to all people.” In initial interactions, the partner who scores higher in self-monitoring tends to speak first, to initiate more conversation sequences, and to use the other person's behavior more as a guide. High self-monitors also tend to use a higher percentage of second-person (“you”) pronouns and to reciprocate their interaction partner's disclosures. High self-monitors run the risk of appearing phony, however, when they try too hard to impress an attractive, opposite-sex partner.

Keywords:   self-monitoring, high self-monitors, low self-monitors, initiating conversation, reciprocating self-disclosure, second-person pronouns, appearing phony

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