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“When people are made to be self-aware, they are likelier to stop and think about what they are doing,” Dr. Bodenhausen said. “A byproduct of that awareness may be a shift away from acting on autopilot toward more desirable ways of behaving.” Physical self-reflection, in other words, encourages philosophical self-reflection, a crash course in the Socratic notion that you cannot know or appreciate others until you know yourself. "

clipped from www.nytimes.com
For the aging narcissist of href="http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/william_shakespeare/index.html?inline=nyt-per">Shakespeare’s
62nd sonnet, the mirror delivered a much-needed whack to his vanity, the sight
of a face “beated and chopp’d with tann’d antiquity” underscoring the limits of
self-love.
To scientists, the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of mirrors make them
powerful tools for exploring questions about perception and cognition in humans
and other neuronally gifted species, and how the brain interprets and acts upon
the great tides of sensory information from the external world.
clipped from www.nytimes.com
How can we be so self-delusional when the truth stares back at us? “Although we
do indeed see ourselves in the mirror every day, we don’t look exactly the same
every time,”
“Which image is you?”
“Our research shows that people, on average, resolve that ambiguity in their
favor, forming a representation of their image that is more attractive than they
actually are.”
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