The other side of self-monitoring: Inhibition control in and out a social context

Pedro Figueira, Teresa Garcia-Marques


Although the Stroop effect depends on cognitive monitoring efficiency, it is not yet clear if the Self-Monitoring personality trait is related with such efficiency. Here we contrast two likely hypotheses. If we assume executive control functions to be more activated by individuals’ personality tendency to monitor their behavior, we should expect High Self-Monitors to reduce Stroop interference. However, if we assume that Self-Monitoring personality features are only monitoring social context features, it may be that High Self-monitors lack executive resources to perform a Stroop task depending on the nature of their social context. In two studies, we test these hypotheses creating a feeling of being in a social context through priming (Study 1) or by manipulating other’s presence (Study 2). In both studies we assessed High and Low Self-Monitor’s performance in a Stroop task. Results of both experiments show that while Low Self-Monitors perform better in social than in nonsocial contexts, High Self-Monitors perform worse in the social context. This pattern of results suggests monitoring activity of High Self-Monitors in the presence of others interferes with their cognitive performance in controlling Stroop interference.


Self-monitoring, Social facilitation, Stroop task.

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