Psychology students to display masks


Students painted masks to reveal how they felt others perceive them as well as how they view themselves. Credit: Ryan Albert/Chronicle

Lucas Gelfond

Students enrolled in the Psychology course designed masks as part of their final project, which prompted them to consider how they are perceived by others and how they think of themselves.

“The purpose of the mask project is for students to explore how what they outwardly show to others can be significantly different from how they see themselves,” psychology teacher Michelle Bracken said in an email. “It is a project that allows students to think about both how others see them and how they seem themselves.”

The inside of the masks depicted how students viewed themselves and the outside showed how they believed others perceive them.

Students designed the masks to express their inner selves and use a creative method to show their personality.

In order to understand how others view them, students often asked friends about what impressions they give off.

“My favorite part was probably trying to figure out what people think of me,” Matteo Lauto ’18 said. “I asked a couple of my friends what their first impressions of me were and how they saw me before knowing me, and that was interesting to kind of see how similar or different their points of view were after they got to know me.”

The mask project is worth 10 percent of the final assessment for the class and is related to the final paper that students wrote.

The paper asked students to assess their own personality based on theories by Sigmund Freud and Abraham Malow.

Students had a choice to present their masks or write a one-page paper explaining their mask and its symbolism in their life.

“Unlike other final projects where it’s hard to get through and it’s a lot of facts, I actually really enjoyed writing this and making masks because you actually learn a lot about yourself in the process, even though that sounds cheesy,” Oceania Eshraghi ’18 said. “You think you know yourself, but when you’re forced to put this down on paper and creatively express it, you really have to reflect on who you are and what you need and what you love. I thought it was really interesting. I learned a lot about myself in doing it.”