Observation Report

Topics: Mirror test, Code, Mirror Pages: 11 (1853 words) Published: May 7, 2013


The Rouge Test has been developed as a tool to assess a basic acquisition of a concept of Self as revealed by recognising one's own image in a mirror. Two researchers developed independently the same technique: Amsterdam with infants (1968 doctoral dissertation, first published in 1972), and Gallup (1970; Gallup, McClure, Hill & Bundy, 1971) with chimpanzees and monkeys. In both cases, the researchers needed to find a non-verbal test.

The structure of the Rouge Test involves three phases: (1) observation of a child's spontaneous behaviour in front of a mirror – before proceeding to the next phase, the child must look at her/ himself in the mirror at least once; (2) Rouge phase, when the experimenter or mother surreptitiously applies a rouge (or blue) mark on child's cheek near the nose, where the child cannot see it); (3) observation of the children’s reactions to their own mirror images (altered by the rouge mark). All children are observed for the same minimum period of time to see whether they do/do not show any signs of attention to the rouge mark, which would indicate self-recognition according to Amsterdam (1972) and Gallup (1970). According to Amsterdam (1972), children at the age of six to twelve months of age see their reflections as a 'sociable playmate'. They begin to admire themselves and show embarrassment from twelve months onwards, and by the time they become two years old their self-recognition reaches up to 65%. In general, children pass the Rouge Test around > 18 months of age. Children start to become self-aware and more self-conscious at the age of two, they evaluate their behavior and appearance in terms of both others and their own standards (Asendorph, J. 1993). According to Bertenthal and Fischer (1978) and Lewis and Brooks-Gunn (1979), a 2 year olds self-development indicates the growth od self-awareness before using verbal labels for themselves.

It has been observed in some people and animals that after getting their vision back after being born blind, they initially react to their mirror Image as If it were a whole new separate entity (John, A. 1992). Animals have also been noted to pass the test, which include the great apes, like Humans, though it develops after 18 months (Archer, J. 1992), Bonobos (Miller, J. 2009), and Chimpanzees (Miller, J. 2009), though, when it comes to most animals, the reactions to the mirror images were hostile at first.

Since the original studies, there have been many replications of Amsterdam’s results with infants. This study is a partial replication in which the classification of children according to a pass/fail category will be taken for the rouge-related behaviours. The main purpose of this small scale study is to evaluate the utility and reliability of the coding scheme and measures used.


PARTICIPANTS (describe here the sample you have analysed)
The five participants who took part in this test were four babies, two males and two females, aged between 9 months and 18months, and a male chimpanzee named Rusty.

PROCEDURE (tick the correct option/s)

The study was based on:Naturalistic observation1
Structured observation

Specification (e.g., laboratory vs. field; direct vs. videotape): The test was a field test, and was done viewing the participants whose responses were recorded on videotape by a friend or family member and kept an eye on by their mother.

CODING (tick the correct option/s)

Coding scheme based on: Momentary events1
Duration events
Physically based codes
Socially based codes1 Mutually exclusive codesNon-mutually exclusive codes1

Exhaustive coding

The specific coding scheme used was as follows...

References: Asendorph, J.B. (1993). Self-awareness and other-awareness: Mirror self-recognition and synchronic imitation among Unfamiliar peers. American psychological association, 29 (1), 88-95
Archer, J
Berthental, B.I., & Fischer, K.W. (1978). Development of self-recognition in the infant. Developmental Psychology, 14, 44-50
Coren, S
Gallup, G.G. (1970). Chimpanzee self-recognition. Science, 167 (3914), 86-87.
Gallup, G.G., McClure, M.K., Hill, S.D. & Bundy, R.A. (1971). Capacity for self-recognition in differentially reared chimpanzees. The Psychological Record, 21(1), 69-74.
Lewis, M. & Brooks-Gunn, J. (1979). Social cognition and the acquisition of self. New York: Plenum Press
Miller, J
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