Our brain is one complex organ. It controls the whole of the body including our senses. One of those senses is sight and our eyes are also controlled by our brain. Whatever we grasp through our eyes are processed by our brain and that’s what we see and it also means that what we see might not look originally like what we perceive. For e.g. our eyes actually see the nose, but it is our brain which chooses to ignore it and hence your vision is not hampered by your nose. Here is one such phenomenon that makes us look good in mirrors but not always in our photos.
1 Seeing yourself is so satisfying in the mirror
Seeing yourself in the mirror in the best thing done for every people in the world. It probably comes second only to taking thousands of selfies of yourself. Taking selfie has become such a rage that it has even became the word of the year in Oxford dictionary and people have even lost their lives trying to take exotic selfies at dangerous places. But as it comes out, not every person is photogenic when it comes to how they look in photos. But the same non photogenic people look completely different when they see themselves in mirrors. Their reflection come out looking great in mirror, but in photograph, the same people look highly unhandsome and non beautiful. But don’t worry; nothing is wrong with those people, it is just how our brain perceives things and how it looks at the image of oneself. Click on the next slide to know what this phenomenon is known as and why our mirror image looks better than our photographs.
2 The Mere Exposure effect
As discussed in previous slide, our face looks different in photographs and different in our mirror reflection. This doesn’t mean that our face is crooked or our eyesight has become bad. This is a phenomenon that makes our brain just perceive things differently. The effect is known as Mere Exposure effect, which is defined as a psychological phenomenon in which people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them. It is also known as familiarity principle. The brain mostly sees our image in mirror everyday and perceives it to be the more perfect image as it is seen more repeatedly. Also our reflection is the exact inversion of us and our brain actual perceives it to be true. Photographs however are the more actual representation of our image and when our brain sees our image in the pic, it throws off the whole idea of how we look in the mirror versus how we look in photos. Our brain accepts the image in mirror easily because it is exposed to it more than to the image of photographs.
Another simple is of how our voice sounds when we speak and how it sounds to us when it is recorded. Brain is more accustomed to hear the voice we speak in and when we hear our recorded voice, brain is confused about the two sounds and hence recorded voice seems off to us.