external image CharlesHortonCooley.gifCharles Horton Cooley's Theory

Best known for his concept of "looking-glass self". This is the theory that your self-image is formed mainly by the messages we get from others, and an each person’s interpretation of the messages they get. There are three components to Cooley's looking glass self and they are (1) envisioning how one's self appears to others, (2) imagining what others must think of one's appearance, and (3) developing self-feeling, such as pride or shame, from one's understanding of these perceived judgments by others (Soylent Communications, 2010). Almost everyone in the general public imagines how they must look to other people with their: actions, behaviours, attitude and how their actions change, or rebel, to the judgements they receive. A large portion of a person's personality is determined by how people have reacted to their actions, behaviour and appearance. This in turn shapes a person to be the personality they are as Cooley described in his theory (Morine, 2009).

"The thing that moves us to pride or shame is not the mere mechanical reflection of ourselves, but an imputed sentiment, the imagined effect of this reflection upon another's mind." - Charles Cooley