Pictorial Representations of Self and Others
In our society, the self is experienced visually in pictures as well as in reflective surfaces. Pictorial representations of the self are a medium in which self recognition may be observed and in which stimulus attributes, such as facial expression, size of image projected, amount of person shown (e.g., head versus entire body), and person attributes, such as age and sex, may be systematically varied or controlled. These attributes are very important, since preverbal children’s ability to recognize themselves in pictures can be inferred only through their differential responses to pictures of self and of other. The other that is used for comparison purposes should be as similar to the self as possible, since differential responding may be elicited by person perceptions other than self perception. For example, infants respond quite differently to adults and children in live approach sequences (Brooks & Lewis, 1976; Greenberg, Hillman, & Grice, 1973; Lewis & Brooks, 1974) so that differential responses to pictures of self and adults or even to self and older children may not be indicative of self recognition but instead may be indicative of age differentiation. In Picture Studies I and II, infants’ responses to pictures of themselves and of other same-aged and same-sex peers were compared in order to see whether, and at what ages, infants differentiate self from other and, by inference, recognize themselves.
KeywordsFacial Expression Stimulus Condition Interobserver Reliability Social Category Pictorial Representation
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