Better before a Mirror?

Romana Žihlavníková, Andrej Mentel, Ivan H. Tuf

Abstract


When people are among the others, they tend to be more prosocial, moral and generous. What can influence their behavior when they are alone? To make them act as if they are among the others? One of many possible factors can be to make them feel like somebody is looking. It could only be a mirror. Our previous experiments provide the proof of its influence on the compliant behavior of the adult and children samples. In both experimental situations in the presence of the mirror, participants were acting more compliantly with the stated standard. How could something as simple as mirror influence one’s behavior? One approach argues that visual stimulus induces automatic perception of “one being watched”, even though it is their reflection. In addition, in the situation in front of mirror, the feeling of being watched induces the mechanism of the self-awareness. In the self-awareness state discrepancy between social standard and actual behavior become salient. Transgressing in that situation could endanger self-esteem. The third possible approach is a discrepancy-reducing feedback loop. Finally, we mention results of our experiments and propose further study of the self-awareness in experimental and naturalistic conditions.


Keywords


self-awareness, transgression, feedback loop, prosocial reputation, self-esteem

https://doi.org/10.5817/pf15-3-1000

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References

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Published by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic.
ISSN: 1212-9097