Looking Glass Self

Looking glass self is a term coined by the sociologist Charles Horton Cooley, and refers to his proposal that the individual’s perception of himself is based on how he believes that others perceive him. According to Cooley, this process has three steps. First, we imagine how we appear to another person. Second, we imagine which judgements are made based on that appearance. Lastly, we imagine how the person feels about us, based on the judgements made.


Cooley, Charles H. (1902). “Human Nature and the Social Order“. New York: Scribner’s. pp. 183-184.


Related lecture: The Self Illusion: How Your Brain Creates You, Bruce Hood.