Self-Monitoring and Idiographic Measures of Behavioral Variability Across Interpersonal Relationships


  • This research was supported in part by a Hughes Faculty Research Award offered through the Office of Faculty Research at California State University, Fullerton Special thanks go to Casey Smith, Brenda Wheeler, and Ray Bugbee who spent many hours on the demanding task of rating computer and diary data

Requests for reprints should be sent to Richard Lippa, Department of Psychology, California State University, Fullerton, CA 92634


ABSTRACT Sixty-five subjects were assessed by a computer program that asked them to list the primary people they interact with, the situations they inhabit with these people, and the traits and behaviors they typically show with these people The program stored these data as a tree of information Subjects also kept detailed behavioral diaries over a 10-day period and completed Snyder's (1974) Self-Monitoring Scale The consistency of subjects' behaviors and settings over interpersonal relationships was computed from the computer data and from behavioral diaries Results indicated that consistency as assessed idiographically from computer data, consistency as assessed idiographically from diaries, and self-monitoring were intercorrelated These results illustrate the possibility of wedding idiographic and nomothetic approaches in research on the consistency and variability of behavior