Self-monitoring and linguistic adaptation

Hartmut Blank, R. Ziegler, J. de Bloom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the role of self-monitoring in the adaptation to different linguistic environments (dialects and foreign languages). An internet study (N = 505) found the motivation and ability of speakers of local German dialects to switch to the German high language (as measured by a specifically developed scale) to be moderately related (r = .24) to their self-monitoring scores. Further analyses found this relationship to be stronger for people with stronger dialects. Also, in a survey of German first-year students (N = 88) at a Dutch university, self-monitoring was strongly related (r = .43) to a scale measuring various aspects of adaptation to the Dutch language; high self-monitors also reported less social and study-related problems due to language. We conclude from these results that self-monitoring is an important determinant of oral linguistic adaptation. Put differently, our findings extend the reach of the self-monitoring construct to the domain of language.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-80
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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