Saturday, October 08, 2005

Visibility

My perhaps favorite work of psychology is Nathaniels Brandens 'The Psychology of Self-Esteem'. He was an associate with Ayn Rand, and most of the content in this book is written during their time together (it was published 1969). His later works aren't as good.

One of its interesting concepts is visibility. Quoting:

A man's intelligence, his psycho-epistemology, his basic premises and values, his sense of life, are all made manifest in his personality. "Personality" is the externally perceivable sum of all those psychological traits or characteristics which distinguish one man from another. A man's psychology is expressed through his behavior, through the things he says and does, and through the way he says and does them. It is in this sense that a man's self is an object of perception to others. When other react to a man, to their view of him and of his behavior, their reaction (which begins in their consciousness) is expressed through their behavior, through the things they say and do relative to him, and through the way they say and do them. If their view of him is consonant with his own, and is, accordingly, transmitted by their behavior, he feels perceived, he feels psychologically visible - and he experiences a sense of the objectivity of his self and of his psychological state; he perceives the reflection of himself in their behavior. It is in this sense that others can be a psychological mirror.

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