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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Introspect'

Introspect Meaning and Definition from WordNet (r) 2.0
    introspect v : reflect on one's own thoughts and feelings
Introspect Meaning and Definition from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)
    Introspect \In`tro*spect"\, v. t. [L. introspectus, p. p. introspicere to look into; intro within + specere to look. See Spy.] To look into or within; to view the inside of. --Bailey.
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Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Introspect'

Introspection is the self-observation and reporting of conscious inner thoughts, desires and sensations. It is a conscious mental and usually purposive process relying on thinking, reasoning, and examining one's own thoughts, feelings, and, in more spiritual cases, one's soul. It can also be called contemplation of one's self, and is contrasted with extrospection, the observation of things external to one's self. Introspection may be used synonymously with and in a similar way to self-reflection. It is used greatly as a spiritual examination.

Introspection is like the activity described by Plato when he asked, "…why should we not calmly and patiently review our own thoughts, and thoroughly examine and see what these appearances in us really are?"

Behaviorists claimed that introspection was unreliable and that the subject matter of scientific psychology should be strictly operationalized in an objective and measurable way. This then led psychology to focus on measurable behavior rather than consciousness or sensation. Cognitive psychology accepts the use of the scientific method, but often rejects introspection as a valid method of investigation for this reason, especially concerning the causes of behavior and choice. Herbert Simon and Allen Newell identified the 'thinking-aloud' protocol, in which investigators view a subject engaged in a task, and who speaks his thoughts aloud, thus allowing study of his thought process without forcing the subject to comment on his thinking.

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