Self-monitoring as a trait refers to a tendency "to closely monitor an audience in order to ensure appropriate or desired public appearances". It is commonly measured using the Revised Self-Monitoring Scale (e.g., Snyder and Gangestad, 1986)


  • What is the correlation between self-monitoring and the Big 5 factors of personality?
  • To what extent is there overlap?
  • Which Big 5 factor is most related to self-monitoring?


Snyder, M., & Gangestad, S. (1986). On the nature of self-monitoring: matters of assessment, matters of validity. Journal of personality and social psychology, 51(1), 125.


1 Answer 1


I did a quick search and found the following:

Barrick et al (2005) (see Table 1). In a sample with a little over a hundred MBA students they obtained the following correlations with self-monitoring:

  • Conscientiousness r = -.24
  • Extraversion r = .31
  • Agreeableness r = -.08
  • Emotional Stability r = -.10
  • Openness r = .23

Kring, Smith, and Neale (1994) (see Table 3): Correlations with self-monitoring were (I think in a sample of 300+ undergraduates):

  • Surgency (somewhat similar to extraversion): .51
  • Agreeableness: r = .06
  • Conscientiousness: r = -.15
  • Emotional Stability: r = .37

This would suggest that self-monitoring has only a weak relationship with the Big 5.

The positive relationship with extraversion makes sense given that self-monitoring is related to an aptitude and an interest in adaptive social interactions.


  • Barrick, M. R., Parks, L., & Mount, M. K. (2005). Self‐monitoring as a moderator of the relationships between personality traits and performance. Personnel Psychology, 58(3), 745-767.
  • Kring, A. M., Smith, D. A., & Neale, J. M. (1994). Individual differences in dispositional expressiveness: development and validation of the Emotional Expressivity Scale. Journal of personality and social psychology, 66(5), 934.

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