The goal of this research was to determine how the self-awareness process of expressing emotions and identifying emotions of others was impacted during a mirror-based intervention for first grade students from inclusive classrooms. The study investigated the extent that a two-way mirror display helped eight students increase their level of awareness when expressing emotions and identifying the emotions of others. Traditional assessment measures for assessing empathy and accuracy in perception of emotions of others have relied on binary, forced choice responses that have not addressed a student's level of awareness, or increased awareness in identifying the emotions of others. Further, binary tests of theory of mind (ToM) and empathy that provide 'either/or' assessment do not account for an individual's level of ToM or empathy in identifying emotions of others, when 100% accuracy is not achieved 100% of the time. A two-way mirror served to provide a real time, real world opportunity for students to examine their own expression of a given emotion, while the student on the non-reflected side simultaneously evaluated the accuracy of that emotion. The accuracy of the projected emotion was evaluated and results indicated an increase in accuracy of expressing emotions. This research study introduced a three choice assessment measure, 'The Emotion Word Assessment (EWA) that provided students choices in identifying their peers' emotion, and was used to assess accuracy and increases in correct choices, with concomitant changes in student own awareness of their emotion expression and the awareness of others' emotions. Constructs of ToM, empathy, cognitive empathy and affective empathy, cognitive processing, compassion, and sympathy were examined and recommendations for future empathy and emotional assessment provided.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Education; Exceptional Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Duff, Christine K., "An Exploratory Mixed Methods Study of Student Awareness in Expressing Emotions and Identifying the Emotions of Others: Through the Mirror Looking Glass" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5613.