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Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling Essay


Human beings are social animals who not only act in an intelligent manner but also exhibit unique behave. However, people have found it very challenging to utilize such a high degree of intelligence in self-judgment. No matter what one believes in, it is important for us to take a divergent perspective in viewing ourselves. In essence, individuals should supplement their individual perceptions with what other people think about them in an attempt to wholly understand themselves. This paper, therefore, reviews a psychology today magazine on mixed signals.

The magazine titled “Mixed signals” was written by Sam Gosling and published by Sussex Publishers, LLC, in September 2009 in New York. Gosling argues that people view themselves in a different way from other people’s perceptions of them. He further asserts that we need to augment our individual view with others so as to fully understand ourselves. According to the writer, there is no single perception that is complete and that some information is hidden from us about ourselves and only available to others who we associate with on a day-to-day basis. He, therefore, recommends a divergent perspective to avoid making personal cognitive biases.

Such cognitive biases pose challenges to our lives as individuals may apply them inappropriately due to a lack of self-awareness. He says that beings tend to portray themselves as good people, which is not always right. It is important to understand how other people view us. He concludes that for one to be understood by others, he/she has to understand himself/herself first.

However, Gosling says that there comes a situation where individuals are able to understand their own behavior. He terms these areas as ‘bright spots.’ He also talks about ‘dark spots’ which consists of traits which neither an individual self nor others are able to observe. ‘Personal spots,’ on the other hand, constitute traits that can only be observed by an individual, such as hatred for others in society.

Finally, the writer discusses ‘blind spots’ which include things not seen by an individual self but by others. These things may include an individual’s intelligence or even hostility towards others. The writer argues that personal spots exist because there are things that others can not know about an individual despite the fact that such assumptions have been made by many people. Such things as an individual’s intentions, emotions, as well as thoughts, are hidden from other people.

Generally, this magazine discusses the importance of taking a divergent perspective in understanding self. It is necessary to incorporate others’ perspectives about us into our own views so as to understand ourselves fully. Being aware of how others view us would help in ironing out misunderstandings in our daily life.

This magazine embraces ideas discussed in psychology under the self-awareness theory. For instance, Gosling’s argument is in line with the aforementioned by stressing on the importance of self-awareness as a tool in understanding an individual’s behavior. The magazine, therefore, relates positively to the psychological context of human perception.

‘Mixed signals’ is an important magazine that enlightens readers on the importance of self-awareness as a way of enhancing understanding of an individual self. By embracing what other people think of us, we are better placed to avoid cognitive biases that arise because we always view ourselves in a positive manner. The magazine recommends the integration of one’s personal view with others’ perceptions towards him/her in fully understanding one’s behavior, knowledge, and opinion. However, it stresses the importance of ensuring personal understanding before one expects to be understood by others.

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IvyPanda. (2021, January 8). Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/self-perception-in-mixed-signals-by-sam-gosling/

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"Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling." IvyPanda, 8 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/self-perception-in-mixed-signals-by-sam-gosling/.

1. IvyPanda. "Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling." January 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/self-perception-in-mixed-signals-by-sam-gosling/.


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IvyPanda. "Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling." January 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/self-perception-in-mixed-signals-by-sam-gosling/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling." January 8, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/self-perception-in-mixed-signals-by-sam-gosling/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Self-Perception in “Mixed Signals” by Sam Gosling'. 8 January.

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