Ickes said. The highs are like Woody Allen's Zelig, madly trying to fit in with whomever they are with. But the lows don't give the highs enough cues to know how they should try to be. The differences between the types are perhaps most striking in their personal relationships. The social chameleons, for example, are much less willing to commit themselves to a romantic relationship, are more willing to end one romance to start another and are slow to become emotional intimates of those they date. On the other hand, those low in the trait are more loyal lovers, being far more willing to become committed, slower to shift to a new partner and ready to share the growth of intimacy with their partner.
The fantasy life of each type reflects the same tendencies. Social chameleons, compared with their opposites, more frequently fantasize about having sexual relations with someone other than their steady partner, even having those fantasies while engaging in sex with their partner.
In sum, Dr. Snyder writes, ''Thus, we might expect low self-monitoring individuals to display greater commitment to, and stronger attachment to, their marital partners.
Likewise, the two types differ greatly in the nature of their friendships. The low self-monitoring type, as might be expected, tends to be extremely invested, both in time and emotion, in a few close friends. Social chameleons, on the other hand, prefer to have a wide range of friends and to have different friends for different activities. Moreover, they ''set up barriers, so it's hard for their friends to get to know them well,'' Dr.
The social chameleons, according to Dr. Graziano, have a heterogeneous social world. But those low in self-monitoring play tennis with the same person with whom they go antiquing.
Perhaps understandably, social chameleons have been found by Dr. Snyder to be more responsive to advertising that appeals to one's image, while those low in the trait respond more readily to claims of a product's quality. The tendency for people to be one or the other type has been found in children as young as 7 years old.
One of the key signs of self-monitoring is the tendency to try to find out what others think about something before making one's own response. In a study done by Christopher Leone at the University of Minnesota, third- graders were asked their opinions on a wide range of topics, such as whether ''E.
Before answering they were given the chance to see how other children had responded to the same questions. Some children, presumably those who will grow up to be social chameleons, pored over the data before they would give their own answers. As far back as Helene Deutsch, a psychoanalyst, described what she called the ''as-if'' personality, a person who shifted roles in life like an actor. The ''as-if'' type, she wrote, had a ''highly plastic readiness to pick up signals from the outer world'' and mold himself accordingly.
Deutsch saw such people as suffering from a fragile sense of themselves, constantly seeking to shore themselves up by winning the approval of others at all costs. While Dr.
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Snyder's research does not focus on people who are at either extreme of the pattern he describes, he does acknowledge that both tendencies, when exaggerated, can indicate psychopathology. The consensus among those who have done research on the topic seems to be that people are better off not being extreme in either direction.
If a situation doesn't mesh with that sense, they are totally unwilling to change to fit in.
Jordan 6 Retro All Star 2017 "Chameleon"
They act as they feel they should, no matter what others make of it. Snyder does not believe that being a social chameleon or one of their opposites need make one more susceptible to psychological problems. Nevertheless he believes it can lead to specific types of vulnerability. When those high in self-monitoring get depressed, he has found, it is more likely to have been triggered by failing at a social performance, such as trying out for a team or play and not making it.
Those low in the trait, however, become depressed when they feel they have violated their deepest values, such as being found a hypocrite. Still, in Dr.
Graziano's view, most social chameleons are not pathological. Recent research, he said, has shown that, by and large, they are not Machiavellian manipulators, nor are they desparately insecure, seeking the approval of others at all costs. On the contrary, ''It seems to be a social skill,'' Dr. Graziano said. What can perhaps be most useful for everyone about the new research is the simple awareness that the two types exist. Due to the high volume of feedback, we are unable to respond to individual comments. Sorry, but we can't respond to individual comments. Recent searches Clear All.
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