Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Elizabeth Casserly


When people are made more self-aware either through name priming or the introduction of a mirror, the increase in self-awareness elicits a positive effect in performance of difficult mental tasks. This effect was first documented decades ago, but lacks extensive research. The relationship between self-awareness and seeing oneself has been studied in terms of task completion and self-esteem measures, but never in the realm of speech tasks. The present study focused on the effects of different speech goals on self-attention. Similar to earlier studies, a webcam was used to display the participants’ images during tasks, while eye-tracking was used to determine how variation in speech goals affected attention to their visual self-image. It was found that proportionally more time is was spent looking at the eyes during no task, while a possible time-compression limit effect in looking times was observed in speech-relevant looks to participants’ mouth/nose area in a recitation of the ABCs casual condition. We also found that attention towards the overall face and speech-relevant areas was more tightly correlated during storytelling tasks. Broadly speaking, visual feedback of one’s own face is a unique form of feedback, and does appear to have some effect on attention during speech acts.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford Connecticut for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Psychology.