In Psychology 101, I learned about Projecting and Mirroring... I know one is where an individual sees his own problems in other people... I always forget the other concept and/or confuse the two. What's the difference between projecting and mirroring?

  • $\begingroup$ the projector and mirror" are both similar because heres the hit Ed one is scared to fight and the other is glad of it. if one projects denying its own thought then the mirrorer has taken control by manipulation and possibly deception for the one knows what it does the other maybe maybe not has knowledge sounds like truth or control is desired by one and fear of rejection or consequence rules another. this comment is louie pasturer no charge $\endgroup$
    – user11006
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 22:14

1 Answer 1


Mirroring is when one acts like others one is in the presence of. For example, an individual may pick up inflections, wording, or mannerisms of others they spend time with. From Wikipedia:

Mirroring is common in conversation. The listeners will typically smile or frown along with the speaker. If one person throws in sports metaphors, the other will likely parry along similar ideas. Since people usually accept their mirror image with ease, mirroring the person with whom one is speaking generally makes them feel more relaxed and encourages them to open up.

Projection is a defense mechanism whereby an individual "projects" their own views, issues, or thoughts over someone else, preventing the individual from getting an accurate view of the other person and believing the thoughts come from the other individual rather than oneself. Again, from Wikipedia:

Psychological projection or projection bias is a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people. Thus, projection involves imagining or projecting the belief that others originate those feelings [...]

An example of this behavior might be blaming another for self failure. The mind may avoid the discomfort of consciously admitting personal faults by keeping those feelings unconscious, and by redirecting libidinal satisfaction by attaching, or "projecting," those same faults onto another person or object

Projection may be easily confused with Mirroring because with Projection, an individual sees their own traits in another, but the proper term can be remembered because the individual who is projecting "blanks out" others like a blank movie screen, and "projects" their own image, seeing what they are projecting instead of what is really there. WIth Mirroring, an individual is like a mirror themselves, as opposed to Projecting, when the individual is like a movie projector.

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    $\begingroup$ Way to salvage this question with your answer, I don't know what the asker was thinking. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 23:23
  • $\begingroup$ I don't either! He's been a real problem user for this site. $\endgroup$
    – Josh
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 23:24

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