Insight & Self-Regulation


Insight refers to the person being aware of their own abilitiesactions and behaviours, and the impact they may have on others, and the environment. Insight is needed to evaluate a situation, engage in problem solving and receive feedback. When a person has poor insight, the feedback loop in the brain is faulty and the person may have a difficult time accepting or understanding the feedback.

During a museum tour, the participant may be unaware that they have said something offensive. They may not understand why others are concerned about their safety or they may have difficulty accepting feedback from others. This is important because as a facilitator, you will need to use your knowledge and judgement to choose when to intervene and when not to. Is the situation unsafe? Offensive? Inappropriate? Do you need to redirect the conversation? Are the words and actions outside of social norms but will not cause harm? We will discuss this more in Module 4: Approach.


Self-regulation includes being able to adjust and manage emotional and verbal responses and follow social norms. It also includes being able to complete tasks when difficulties are experienced. Changes in self-regulation may be seen in the gallery or museum setting during a tour when a participant may talk over another person because they are excited that they know the answer to a question. The participant may be overly friendly, flirtatious with others, use inappropriate language or physical contact. They may also show frustration if they are not happy with their results.

This is important because as a facilitator you can adjust your reactions to your participants words and actions, remembering that changes in their brain can cause them to act in unexpected ways. You can then choose to respond or not respond to the situation as is appropriate for the context.