How Modest Am I?
In a society where first impressions dictate how we are perceived, self monitoring is the norm; not the exception. Self-monitoring refers to an individual’s ability (cognitive, verbal, and physical) to present him/her desirably in social contexts, as well as regulating one’s performance to achieve a desired situational response (Myers, 2010 pg74).Whenever two individuals meet for the first time, personal opinions are created. Research shows that in a very small timeframe (approximately 3-5 seconds), a person’s first impression is born (Smith, R. and Mackie, D., 2007 pg.57, 86). These opinions, based on body language, mannerism, appearance, and demeanor are almost impossible to reverse. As a result, individuals are constantly self-monitoring.
Individuals desire to “fit in” within society is so powerful, that they will go to great extremes trying to conceal their true selves. They often behave like chameleons; adapting to their environment to ensure survival (Myers, 2010 pg74). “Showing off” creates a bad impression, whereas modesty creates a good one. That is the reason why individuals often rest-importance to their successes, thus appearing humble (Myers, 2010 pg75). Miller & Schlenker, (1985), used the term “false modesty phenomenon,” referring to an individual’s display of lower self-esteem than what he/she was actually feeling. When engaging in a conversation, individuals want to look good; but not excessively.
Psychologist Albert Bandura (1925- ) believes that individuals use a set of strategies (reactive and proactive) as well as externals and internals factors to regulate their behavior. According to Bandura, societal standards and demands, external rewards and support from others are some of the most important external factors that affect self-regulation. Whereas self observation, judgmental process, and affective self reaction are the internal factors that affect self-regulation. Individuals are constantly adjusting their behavior...