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Mirror Representations of Self

  • Michael Lewis
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn

Abstract

Infants’ reactions to mirrors were observed by modifying an ingenious technique that was independently developed by Gallup (1968) and by Amsterdam (1968). Sixteen infants in each of six age groups were observed in the following mirror situations. Infants were first placed in front of a large mirror and observed. Then, a dot of rouge was placed on the infants’ noses by their mothers, and they were again observed in front of the mirror. Following this procedure, the experimenter applied a dot of rouge to the mothers’ noses, and the infants’ reactions to their mothers’ marked faces were noted. After they had seen their mothers, the infants were placed in front of the mirror for a third time. This design was used in order to: (1) provide a standardized observation procedure; (2) provide a descriptive account of infants’ responses to mirrors at different ages; (3) study the effect of rouge application on self-directed behavior, using an unmarked condition as a baseline; (4) compare infants’ ability to recognize a mark on their mothers’ noses as well as their own, in order to test the salience of this specific facial distortion; and (5) see whether maternal mark recognition facilitates subsequent self-directed behavior, since noticing the rouge on the mother may “prime” the child for noticing it.

Keywords

Marked Condition Imitative Behavior Mirror Condition Trial Length Mirror Representation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Michael Lewis and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Educational Testing Service 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Lewis
    • 1
  • Jeanne Brooks-Gunn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Exceptional ChildrenEducational Testing ServicePrincetonUSA

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