The Spyglass Self: a Model of Vicarious Self-Perception

Noah Goldstein, Arizona State University, USA
Robert Cialdini, Arizona State University, USA
Self-perception theory posits that consumers sometimes infer their own attitudes and attributes by observing their own actions. We hypothesized that in addition, consumers sometimes infer their own attributes by observing the freely chosen actions of others with whom they feel a sense of merged identity—almost as if they had observed themselves performing the acts. Before observing an actor’s behavior, participants were led to feel a sense of merged identity with the actor. As predicted, observers incorporated attributes relevant to the actor’s behavior into their own self-concepts. These changes in relevant self-perceptions led observers to change their own behaviors accordingly.
[ to cite ]:
Noah Goldstein and Robert Cialdini (2007) ,"The Spyglass Self: a Model of Vicarious Self-Perception", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 642-643.