The mirror test, also known as the mark test, is a behavioral technique developed by Gordon Gallup Jr. to see if an infant or animal possesses the ability of visual self-regulation. When a baby is sitting in front of a mirror, many people wonder if an infant pays attention to physical features or things on themselves that are not normally there. A mark or sticker is put onto the infant or child as a test to see their level of attentiveness. Based on the infant's reaction to this test, this can indicate if they have self-awareness and understand a change in their appearance. According to studies, 6-12 month-year-olds think their reflection is another baby. 13-24 month infants respond with more hesitation but are not fully aware of the reflection in the mirror. They usually notice the mark on their forehead that is drawn on them without their knowledge but may not know who they are looking at. Some infants believe the baby in the mirror is them, while others think it is another baby. Toddlers from 20-24 months seem to easily recognize that the reflection in the mirror is their own. They can also see a change in their appearance when a mark is drawn on their forehead when completing this test. I found this test interesting to learn about because I never thought about visual self-regulation in an infant. In my opinion, once a baby is aware of themselves, they start to recognize their individuality and uniqueness.
By Kyra Gilligan