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Charles Cooley- Looking glass self | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy

Charles Cooley- Looking glass self | Individuals and Society | MCAT | Khan Academy


– [Voiceover] Socialization
describes the process by which people learn the
attitudes, values, and behaviors that are appropriate and expected by their culture and community. And it typically occurs
through the observation of and interaction with the
people we are surrounded by. And this can include
those who are close to us, like our family, friends, and teachers, but it can also include everyone else that we come across in our daily lives. Our doctors, nurses,
celebrities that we see on TV and in the movies, even the people standing in line next to
us at the supermarket. They all have something to teach us about how we should act within our community. But socialization also
shapes our self image, or how we view ourselves. And sociologist, Charles
Cooley used the term looking glass self in order
to describe this process. And he theorized that
our view of ourselves comes not only from our
direct contemplation of our personal qualities, but also from our perceptions about how we are being perceived by others. And Cooley thought this
happened through three steps. First, we imagine how we
must appear to others, to our families or friends
or just people on the street. Second, we imagine how
they must evaluate us, based on their observations of us. So do we come across as
intelligent, or funny, or shy, or maybe just awkward? And third, we develop
feelings about ourselves based on our impressions
of their evaluations and their observations. And one critical aspect of this theory that I want to point out, is that Cooley believed
that we are not actually being influenced by
the opinions of others, but instead we are
being influenced by what we imagine the opinions
of other people to be. So according to this theory, we might develop our self
identities based on both correct and incorrect
perceptions of how others see us. So let’s say that we have this teacher and they’re grading a paper very harshly. They’re grading it very critically. And they’re doing this
because they think that the student who wrote this paper actually had a lot of potential. And so they’re grading that
student’s paper harshly in order to help them reach it. So let’s say our student
gets their paper back and notices that it’s
full of red ink marks and corrections from the teacher. How might that student interpret this? And how might that
influence their self image? First they might observe that the teacher criticized them harshly on this paper. Second, they think that
teacher probably did so, because they see the student
as not being very intelligent. And then finally, our student
comes to the conclusion that, based on this, they’re probably not very good at literary analysis. So here the student is acting
on an incorrect perception of what they think the teacher believes. And because our attitudes can
often influence our behaviors, this might result in the
student putting less effort into the class, instead of more effort like the teacher originally wanted. But this doesn’t have to
be the end of our story. Because it can also be influenced
by future interactions. So let’s say that this
student talks to the teacher after class about why
they graded so harshly. At that point the teacher
might explain that they think the student
is on the right track, but that they need to put
in a little more effort. And so because of this
additional interaction, the student was able to revise his or her incorrect perceptions and
this could lead the student to developing a different
self perspective.

Comments (11)

  1. Thankyou alot for all the videos you upload. They are great and have great information .. Really helped me 🙂

  2. Hi, I am teaching an online class. May I post this in the class? Thanks!

  3. That's why we must have good prejudices, as God suggested.

  4. Was this narrated by an 11 y/o?

  5. This is so accurate!

  6. How does this relate to meta-cognition? Is this theory a form or akin to meta-cognition?

  7. May I repost the video above on my YouTube channel? The video that I posted has been given Indonesian subtitles. The video will be used for learning.

  8. studying Education Psychology this is awesome for having an example in education!

  9. Anyone know what program this is ?

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