If I Can't See Them They Can't See Me


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A recent study by Cambridge University studied whether children felt they were invisible or not when their eye sight was obscured. The first test was with eye masks so they children could not see. When asked if the researchers could see them they believed they could not see them as long as they had the masks. Interestingly the children were also convinced that the adults that were in the eye masks were also considered invisible by the kids. Another test was conducted where half the kids wore black out goggles, and the other half wore one way mirror goggles. The one way goggles allowed the children to see out, but the researchers to not see their eyes.The problem was that many of the kids did not fully understand the effect of the mirror so they results for those kids skewed the final results. Overall the kids felt as though they were invisible.

This experiment was very confusing, and did not provide many answers as to why the kids hid their eyes. The kids would complicate things by saying that their bodies were visible but that their "being" was not. This led researchers to conclude that the children must believe that their being has some importance to do with their eyes.

To me this being is the important part to uncovering this question. What is different in a child's mind that they feel as though they need to protect their being, but an adult does not. To me i think that direct eye sight may be a form of dominance like in the animal kingdom, and since the adults are bigger the children are giving them their dominance by looking away and protecting their being by surrendering.

2 Comments

I think this was a very cool blog. I can remember covering my eyes in a corner when playing hide and seek as a child. When I grew older i realized that was the dumbest thing ever, but I did always wonder why kids think they are invisible when they cover their eyes. I guess I always they didn't understand the concept that just because they can't see doesn't mean people can't see them. This blog I read talks about the same study by Cambridge University that you mentioned. They describe the being that the children are trying to hide as a "self." The blog also describes how children may think that eye contact is required for people to see each others' "selves." I think it is really interesting to try to understand the minds of children and I think your blog was a good read.

I believe a child's mind is the hardest thing to study because they do not understand everything that we as adults do. Not only can they not understand as much, but they also have a harder time vocalizing what they see. This can make the information very difficult to rationalize for the researchers. It is also harder to create experiments for the children so they can understand what they are doing.

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