The Self-Reflection and Insight Scale: A new measure of private self-consciousness
Anthony M. Grant, PhD (University of Sydney), John Franklin (Macquarie University), and Peter Langford (Macquarie University) 2002, 30(8), 821–836

In our archives, I was interested to find this article that reported the development of a scale of self-reflection and insight, as an improvement on, or alternative to, the Private Self-Consciousness Scale (Fenigstein, Scheier, & Buss, 1975). Grant, Franklin, and Langford discuss the importance of self-reflection and insight (related to the broader construct of private self-consciousness) in creating behavior change and goal attainment.

Self-reflection, the ability to consider and evaluate one’s own feelings and behavior, is described as a crucial step in the process of purposeful change, but is not synonymous with insight, the understanding of those feelings and attitudes. Both are needed to self-regulate. Self-reflection begins the monitoring step where the self is assessed, and insight provides the step of evaluation, so that behaviors or attitudes can be changed as a person works towards his/her goal. Grant et al. developed a valid and reliable measure, and added some interesting findings: it seems that not all acts of self-reflection necessarily result in useful insight; and that some automatic self-reflection may be of less value than a conscious, deliberate act such as keeping a journal or diary to reflect on one’s thoughts and actions. Further relationships with related variables are also described.

Most of us are engaged in some kind of goal setting and attainment; the process of how we reflect on our progress and make purposeful change is a fascinating topic, and, in fact, can trigger some self-reflection in us as readers, and – hopefully – some valuable insights!

Alex Cheyne | Managing Editor   
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal