Charles Cooley's Looking-Glass Self
However, the individual may not accurately judge others' views. A person may interpret others' reactions incorrectly. For example, a person may think others are laughing in a negative way, when they are actually laughing at the person's wit. In this case the resulting feelings would be shaped by incorrect interpretation. Regardless of the accuracy of the individual's beliefs regarding the views of others, these beliefs form the sense of self.
This sense of self begins developing in childhood and by adulthood is usually solidly formed, although not completely defined. The process of developing and modifying a sense of self continues throughout an individual's life. As an individual comes into contact with new people and situations, beliefs regarding perception continually shape and reshape the sense of self.
George Herbert Mead's Concept of the Self
Mead's Theory of the Self
At around age six the child moves into the game stage, playing team sports and other organized games. The child begins to understand the roles of other team members and how those roles interact. As the child advances through this stage, learning what each team member is expected to do during different game situations and coming to understand that individuals take multiple roles, the child begins to understand what Mead called the generalized other. The generalized other represents the perspective of society, including common behavioral social expectations—the roles society expects people to play and how they are expected to behave in those roles.