Adaption-innovation is a construct of preferred problem-solving style; adaptors work best within clear guidelines and prefer to "do things better", whereas innovators bridle at structure and prefer to "do things differently". Adaption-innovation bears considerable putative similarity to self-monitoring and self-consciousness. In this study the relationships among these constructs were explored using the responses of 55 undergraduate students (48 females, 7 males) on the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI; Kirton, 1976), the Self-Monitoring Scale (Snyder & Gangestad, 1986) and the Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975). Higher adaption-innovation scores were significantly and positively associated with higher self-monitoring scores and significantly and negatively associated with social anxiety scores. In addition, multiple regression analyses indicated that the facets of self-consciousness as well as self-monitoring significantly predicted adaption-innovation. The implications of examining cognitive style in relation to interpersonal attributes are discussed.
Keywords: self-awareness, cognitive style, adaption-innovation, self-monitoring, problem solving, self-consciousness.
Throughout the psychology literature, researchers (e.g., Paulhus & Williams, 2002; Skinner & Drake, 2003) have linked a host of personality constructs (e.g., Machiavellianism, extraversion, openness to experience) to individuals' social behaviors and characteristics (e.g., altruism, aggression). More recent research has focused on bridging the gap between personality and cognition by linking theories of cognitive style to aspects of personality or self-hood (Sternberg & Grigorenko, 1997). In the present study the way in which the cognitive style construct of adaption-innovation is related to the personality constructs of self-monitoring and self-consciousness - which are described below - was examined.
According to Kirton (1976, 2000), adaption-innovation is a bipolar construct of cognitive style that identifies an individual's preferred approach to problem solving. "Adaptors" choose to work within existing guidelines or paradigms to achieve improved solutions, whereas "innovators" feel constrained by rules and opt to operate "outside the box" so as to solve problems differently. Researchers (e.g., Goldsmith & Matherly, 1987; Skinner, 1996) have found that adaptioninnovation is related to motivation for uniqueness, perceived creativity, and self-esteem. Despite these findings, it is not known if adaption-innovation is associated with self-monitoring and self-consciousness.
Self-monitoring refers to individuals' ability to regulate their behavior to meet the demands of social situations (Snyder, 1987). High self-monitors readily alter or adapt their behavior as necessary from one social context to the next; in contrast, low self-monitors exhibit what they regard as their true selves, and judge their behavior to be consistent across all social situations. The characteristics associated with self-monitoring resemble those associated with adaption-innovation. Specifically, (a) adaptors' consistent adherence to rules and guidelines appears similar to low self-monitoring (i.e., behaving consistently from one social situation to the next) and (b) innovators' preference for employing "different" solutions appears more characteristic of high self-monitoring (i.e., behaving differently from one social context to the next). In fact, Skinner and Perlini (1989) reported that (a) innovators scored significantly higher on selfmonitoring than did adaptors, and (b) high self-monitors were significantly more innovative than were low self-monitors. The present investigation was based in part on the work of Skinner and Perlini (1989); in addition, it extends the literature by examining how adaption-innovation and self-monitoring are related to self-consciousness.
As conceptualized by Fenigstein, Scheier, and Buss (1975), self-consciousness has two facets: public self-consciousness is the tendency to focus on one's outer image, whereas private self-consciousness is the inclination to introspect about thoughts and feelings (Buss, 1980). Also central to understanding selfconsciousness is the phenomenon of social anxiety, which Buss characterized as experiencing social discomfort in the presence of others. A review of the literature has revealed that facets of self-consciousness are linked to individuals' abilities to handle impressions, sensitivity to social rejection, and loneliness (see Grant, Franklin, & Langford for a review, 2002). Given that (a) selfconsciousness is concerned with individuals' thoughts about themselves and their personal comfort in social situations and (b) self-monitoring pertains to how people describe their behavior in social contexts, it is possible that the degree of comfort and awareness individuals perceive in a given social context is related to their behavior in that context. Further, this suggests that individuals' self-consciousness and self-monitoring behavior may be associated with their preferred method of problem solving in social situations. Hence, this study was focused on understanding the relationships among adaption-innovation, selfmonitoring, and self-consciousness.
SUMMARY AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS
To date, two significant gaps in this literature exist. First, very few researchers have examined the extent to which adaption-innovation is related to aspects of self-awareness. second, previous researchers have examined adaptioninnovation in relation to one variable rather than a group of variables. In this study these limitations were addressed, and previous research was extended by examining relationships among adaption-innovation, self-monitoring, and selfconsciousness.
Two research questions were asked. First, "what are the relationships among adaption-innovation, self-monitoring, and self-consciousness?" Based on Kirton's (1976, 2000) consistent demonstration that adaptors choose to solve problems within clearly defined rules or guidelines so as to "do things better", and innovators prefer to work independently to "do things differently" it was predicted that higher Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI) scores (i.e., reflecting a tendency toward innovation) would be significantly and positively associated with higher scores of self-monitoring. Further, it was hypothesized that innovation would be (a) significantly and negatively associated with scores on the public self-consciousness variable and, (b) significantly and positively associated with scores on the private self-consciousness variable. Next, it was anticipated that innovation would be significantly and negatively associated with social anxiety.
The second research question was "do self-monitoring and the facets of self-consciousness predict adaption-innovation?" Based on the literature, an affirmative answer was expected.
Fifty-five undergraduates (48 women, mean age = 19.36 yrs, SD = 1.46; seven men, mean age = 19.7 yrs, SD = 1.25) enrolled in Introductory Psychology at a Canadian liberal arts college volunteered for this study.
The Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (KAI; Kirton, 1976) consists of 33 questions (the first of which is not scored) that ask respondents to indicate how easy or difficult it would be to present themselves "consistently over a long period," as, for example, "a person who conforms" (Item 2), "a person who when stuck will always think of something" (Item 3) or "a person who enjoys the detailed work" (Item 4). Scores on the KAI can range from 32 (highly adaptive) to 160 (highly innovative). Test-retest reliability for the KAI was computed at 0.80.
The Self-Monitoring Scale (SMS; Snyder & Gangestad, 1986) is composed of 18 true/false questions, 10 keyed toward the characteristics of low self-monitors (e.g., "I can only argue for ideas which I already believe"; Item 3), and 8 keyed toward the attributes of high self-monitors (e.g., "I would probably make a good actor"; Item 6). Scores on the SMS range from O (low) to 18 (high); mean score is 11, and test-retest reliability was computed at 0.65.
The Self-Consciousness Scale (SCS; Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975) is made up of 23 items, 10 measuring Private Self-Consciousness (e.g., "I'm always trying to figure myself out"; Item 1), seven for Public Self-Consciousness (e.g., "I'm concerned about what other people think of me"; Item 19) plus six Social Anxiety items (e.g., "It takes me time to overcome my shyness in new situations"; Item 4). Participants are asked to rate themselves from zero (extremely uncharacteristic) to four (extremely characteristic) on each statement. Cronbach's alphas were 0.67, 0.79, and 0.61 for the Private, Public, and Social Anxiety subscales, respectively.
Participants completed the measures in a group testing session. Questionnaires were arranged in three different sequences with the order of distribution randomized.
Results are presented according to the two research questions described above. Each of the research questions in this study was examined utilizing the continuous variable forms of students' scores on the Kirton Adaption-Innovation Inventory (Kirton, 1976), Self-Monitoring Scale (Snyder & Gangestad, 1986), and Self-Consciousness Scales (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975).
WHAT ARE THE RELATIONSHIPS AMONG ADAPTION-INNOVATION, SELF-MONITORING, AND SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS?
Table 1 lists the means and standard deviations of the variables of interest. Pearson product-moment correlations were computed to examine the relationships among adaption-innovation, self-monitoring, and the facets of self-consciousness (see Table 2). Note that effect sizes for the correlations described below should be considered using Cohen's (1992) criteria where (a) r = 0.1 (small effect), (b) r = 0.3 (medium effect), and (c) r = 0.5 (large effect). The second column of Table 2 confirmed the hypothesis that high scores on the KAI (i.e., a tendency towards innovation) would be significantly and positively associated with high scores on self-monitoring. The predictions that innovation would be (a) significantly and negatively associated with public self-consciousness and (b) significantly and positively associated with private self-consciousness were not supported. As anticipated, higher scores on the KAI were significantly and negatively associated with higher scores on the social anxiety variable. Results show that high self-monitoring was significantly and negatively associated with social anxiety. Finally, public and private self-consciousness were significantly and positively related, and only public self-consciousness was significantly and positively related to social anxiety.
DO SELF-MONITORING AND THE FACETS OF SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS PREDICT ADAPTION-INNOVATION?
Together, the bivariate analyses allow a comparison of the present findings to the established research literature. However, the facets of self-consciousness and self-monitoring do not operate in isolation. Designating adaption-innovation as the criterion variable, two multiple regression analyses were computed to investigate the relationships among self-monitoring, public self-consciousness, private self-consciousness, and social anxiety (Tabachnick & Fidell, 2001). In the first analysis, results indicated a statistically significant relationship between adaption-innovation (the criterion variable) and the predictor variables, which comprised public self-consciousness, private self-consciousness and social anxiety, F^sub (3,51)^ = 4.50, p < .05, R^sup 2^ = .21, representing a medium to large effect.
To examine further relationships among adaption-innovation and the facets of self-consciousness, variable importance was computed using the ThomasHughes-Zumbo (1998) index. Variable importance is computed by multiplying the standardized beta weight of a predictor by the correlation between that predictor and the criterion variable, and then dividing by the R squared value obtained for the model. Next, the variable importance computation is compared to the variable importance criterion value (i.e., 1/(2p) where p represents the number of predictors in the model). If the variable importance computation is greater than the variable importance criterion value, it is deemed to be an important predictor in the model. After variable importance computations have been calculated, the predictor variables in a multiple regression analysis can be ordered based on how much each one contributes to the model. As shown in the top half of Table 3, for the model involving only self-consciousness variables, social anxiety accounted for 76% of the explained variability whereas neither public nor private self-consciousness statistically contributed to the model.
The second multiple regression analysis assessed the role of self-monitoring in the existing model (i.e., private self-consciousness, public self-consciousness, social anxiety); variable importance was again computed to examine the relative importance of each of the predictors in the model. A statistically significant relationship was found, F^sub (4, 50)^ = 7.91, p < .01, R^sup 2^ = .39, indicating a very large effect.
The lower half of Table 3 lists variable importance for the multiple regression model that includes self-monitoring. Unlike the model with only selfconsciousness variables, social anxiety and self-monitoring accounted for 16% and 73% of the variation, respectively. Contrasting the two regression models, the aspects of public and private self-consciousness were the least important variables in both, and the importance of social anxiety (for the self-consciousness model) was reduced in the presence of self-monitoring.
These findings indicated that adaption-innovation was significantly related to self-monitoring and social anxiety. Specifically, people who are more innovative problem solvers are less consistent in the ways in which they present themselves to others in social contexts, and they appear to experience less social anxiety. By contrast, it appears that people who perceive themselves as being more consistent in the ways they present themselves in social situations may be more socially anxious and are also more adaptive in their approach to problem solving. Perhaps when people display what they regard as their "true" selves they become uncomfortable with the possibility that others may judge them, whereas when individuals perceive themselves as behaving inconsistently in a given social situation they may not experience anxiety because they may not be concerned with others' evaluations of them. Based on these results, it is suggested that the degree of social anxiety individuals experience in a given social situation can influence how they solve problems. That is, individuals who are more socially anxious may opt for more adaptive rather than innovative solutions to problems as a way of managing their anxiety, and they may prefer to employ solutions that allow them to "blend in" rather than "stand out" among others (Kirton, 1976). These suggestions are logically consistent with the present findings. Taken together, these outcomes suggest that the characteristics associated with self-monitoring and social anxiety are similar to those that accompany preferred problem-solving style.
Further support for the findings reported above can be found in Asch's (1955, 1956) classic research showing that situational pressures on individuals to conform escalate if others make similar (even incorrect) judgments. That higher social anxiety accompanied adaption rather than innovation, and low rather than high self-monitoring, may suggest that people who are more adaptive problem solvers or low self-monitors experience higher initial situational pressure, particularly if they are asked to formulate a solution that may be subject to scrutiny by others.
Failure to support the prediction that adaption-innovation would be related to public and private self-consciousness may be a result of using the original version of the SCS with a small sample size (N = 55). Future research might utilize revised measures (see Grant et al., 2002; Scheier & Carver, 1985) with a larger sample of individuals to elucidate the relationships among these variables as well as the proposed constructs that underlie public and private self-consciousness. Further, this hypothesis may not have been confirmed as the alpha levels reported for the self-consciousness scales were not as robust as those reported in previous research (Fenigstein et al., 1975).
The present research corroborates Skinner and Perlini's (1989) demonstration that adaption-innovation is significantly related to self-monitoring. Further, this study extends the literature by examining the relationships among adaptioninnovation, self-monitoring, and self-consciousness, illustrating that (a) both social anxiety and self-monitoring are important predictors of adaptioninnovation, and (b) the self-consciousness variables is altered in the presence of self-monitoring.
Finally, replications and extensions of the present study (e.g., cross culturally) should be made to investigate whether adaption-innovation is a construct that might be employed to understand the ways in which ideas of self are related to individuals' approaches to problem solving.
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LYNDA R. HUTCHINSON
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
NICHOLAS F. SKINNER
King's University College, The University of Western Ontario,
Lynda R. Hutchinson, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada; Nicholas F. Skinner, King's University College, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada.
This study was funded by a grant from the King's University College Research Grants Committee to Nicholas F. Skinner.
Appreciation is due to reviewers including: Carry Gelade, PhD, Business Analytic Ltd, 1 Circus Lodge, Circus Road, London, United Kingdom NWS 9JL, Email: email@example.com; Ng Aik Kwang, PhD, Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, 1 Nanyang Walk, Nanyang, Singapore 637616, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Arthur Perlini, PhD, Algoma University College, 1520 Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2G4, Canada, Email: email@example.com
Please address correspondence and reprint requests to: Lynda R. Hutchinson, University of British Columbia, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4, Canada. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org…