What is "self"" "other" perception theory?

Until now you have utilized Self-perception theory [1] and focused on becoming aware of yourself. Sometimes you may lack awareness of yourself and wish to compare your perceptions with others in order to increase your awareness.

Other perception theory or the social comparison theory has been noted in research and can be utilized by us to learn more about our attitudes and emotions by comparing them with others. A word of caution, however, is that other's interpretations of us should be accepted only as information from which to compare how we may have learned to respond to situations.

 The Johari window  serves as illustration as to how our awareness may be free, blind, hidden, or unknown. [2]  The concept  illustrates the different levels of awareness. As a relationship continues the tendency  increases the free area of the window and  reduces the blind and hidden area. Through a process of self-disclosure, you may increase your self-awareness.[3]

The free window pane of the Johari window refers to information that is readily available to one's self and others.

The blind window pane refers to information that is not known to one's self, but is known to others.

 he hidden window pane refers to information that is known to one's self, but is not known to others.

 The unknown window pane refers to information that is not known to oneself nor to others.

When you, or others, disclose how you are reacting to them, or they to you, the process is called feedback. Feedback that others give may increase our self-awareness, i.e., provided that the feedback is  focused on the here and now, is specific, and is descriptive. Giving and receiving feedback requires considerable skill and should not be given as a release of tension by the giver.

Pair off with a friend, or you may enter chat room  which you think is in your free window pane  with someone else. Next share a personality trait or characteristic  that you believe best describes you. Finally, ask the person to write a personality trait, or characteristic, that he/she believes best describes  yourself. Compare notes and see if the information is in your free, blind, hidden, or, perhaps, unknown window pane. Be sure and provide the name of the person, the time the activity was done, and the results.

If you have not taken the 16PF  inventory you should  request the username and password from your instructor and take the test online.

 You should  compare the information with the 16PF  [Factors, Vigilance, Private, ] to see what you may discover about your unknown. Could you tell what might be projection , i. e., interpretation on your part? How would you know?  What did you learn from this Johari exercise?


1. David Johnson
Reaching Out 8th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon 2003 ,p.55,56
2. Ibid., p.40
3. Duen Hsi Yen, http://www.noogenesis.com/game_theory/johari/johari_window.html  E-mail yen@noogenesis Home Page http://www.noogenesis.com  Permission granted July 6,2003.

Email: rbrehm@msn.com 
Copyright 1998  [Robert Brehm]. All rights reserved.