Self-Awareness and Insight Scale

The Self-Reflection and Insight Scale (SRIS: Grant, Franklin, & Langford, 2002) was developed as a measure of private self-consciousness which would assess internal state awareness (insight) separately from self-reflection. Self-reflection is defined as the extent to which an individual pays attention to and evaluates his/her internal states and behaviours, while insight is the clarity of understanding of these states and behaviours that the individual has. Grant et al. (2002) note that these abilities to monitor and evaluate are essential components of self-regulation and goal-directed behaviour. While self-reflection and insight are related to well-being, it is not a straightforward relationship. Insight is related to increased psychological well-being and cognitive flexibility, while self-reflection is associated with higher anxiety but lower depression. A so-called ‘self-absorption paradox’ seems to exist: higher self-attentiveness is associated with both better self-knowledge and increased psychological distress (Trapnell & Campbell, 1999).


This paradox was partially resolved when Trapnell and Campbell (1999) introduced a different conceptualization of dispositional self-attentiveness by relating self-awareness to the Big Five personality traits. Rumination, related to neuroticism, reflects a tendency to focus on negative self-perceptions and emotions. Reflection, on the other hand, is related to the openness to experience trait and represents a tendency to reflect objectively. The differential impact of these two forms of self-attentiveness have been demonstrated in many areas, including the interpersonal arena: rumination is associated with impaired interpersonal skills and increased negative affect while reflection is associated with improved interpersonal skills (Takano, Sakamoto, & Tanno, 2011).