Social Mirror Theory is a well-known concept in social psychology that explains how individuals develop their self-image by observing the reactions of others. The theory suggests that people tend to evaluate themselves based on how they believe others perceive them. But who came up with this influential theory?

The concept of Social Mirror Theory was first introduced by Charles Horton Cooley, an American sociologist, in his book “Human Nature and the Social Order” published in 1902. Cooley used the term “the looking-glass self” to describe how people’s self-perception is shaped by their interactions with others.

According to Cooley, individuals imagine how they appear to others, interpret the reactions of others, and then develop a sense of self based on these perceptions. In other words, our perception of ourselves is not shaped by our own thoughts or ideas but rather by what we believe others think of us.

Cooley’s theory became widely accepted and influenced many subsequent studies in social psychology. His work paved the way for other notable psychologists such as George Herbert Mead and Erving Goffman, who also explored the idea of how social interactions shape our sense of self.

Mead expanded upon Cooley’s theory by emphasizing the importance of language in shaping our perception of ourselves. He argued that language provides us with a way to communicate with others and develop a shared understanding of our social world.

Goffman further developed Social Mirror Theory by studying how individuals present themselves in different social situations. He suggested that people use various techniques such as impression management and face-saving strategies to control how others perceive them.

In conclusion, Social Mirror Theory was first introduced by Charles Horton Cooley over a century ago. His work has influenced many subsequent studies in social psychology and has led to a better understanding of how individuals develop their sense of self through social interactions. Mead and Goffman also contributed significantly to this area of research by expanding upon Cooley’s original ideas.