Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't see me!

When she was young, and she had done something she was embarrassed by or felt guilty about, my daughter would sometimes hold up her hand to block her eyes and say, loudly,

Don't see me!

The idea, of course, was that by blocking her eyes, she felt that she had blocked us from seeing her.

My wife and I always found that behavior interesting, and just recently I noticed that some others had found it interesting, too: Why do children hide by covering their eyes?

Now things get a little complicated. In both studies so far, when the children thought they were invisible by virtue of their eyes being covered, they nonetheless agreed that their head and their body were visible. They seemed to be making a distinction between their "self" that was hidden, and their body, which was still visible.

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