Introspection is ... Introspection in Psychology
Introspection is a subjective method inpsychology, which is based on self-observation of consciousness. This is a kind of introspection in which we do not seek condemnation. In this introspection is different from remorse. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of introspection in psychology. It's only with its help that we manage to perceive reality as it is. This is the standard and guide for an objective analysis of human behavior.
The essence of introspection
The method of introspection, according to A. Bergson, is based on metaphysics. This is how we discover the ways of our consciousness and intuition. This method of self-observation is based on a retrospective philosophy in order to achieve a reflex liberation of the content of consciousness and the establishment of a hierarchy of sensations in the general structure of the personality. But at the same time, excessive digging in the mind, that is, an excessive tendency to introspection, can cause a suspicious attitude towards the world, which is quite common in psychasthenic patients. Also, the replacement of the real and objective world by the inner world is inherent in schizophrenics.
The Notion of Consciousness by Descartes
In human nature, two independent andopposite beginning: body and soul. These beginnings stem from two different substances: extended and unthinking matter and an unextended and thinking soul. In accordance with this conviction, Descartes introduced two new terms: consciousness as the expression of spiritual substance and the reflex, which is responsible for controlling the action of the body.
It is at Descartes that the verythe concept of consciousness, which later becomes central to psychology until the end of the 19th century. However, Descartes avoided the use of the word "consciousness", and replaced it with the term "thinking". In this case, thinking for him is all that happens inside a person so that we take it for granted. Consequently, thanks to Descartes, a method of introspection in psychology appeared, the concept of self-reflection of consciousness in itself.
Types of introspection
In psychology, there is a systematic,analytical introspection, introspective psychology and phenomenological self-observation. Systematic introspection studies the stages of the thinking process on the basis of a retrospective report. This method was developed at the Würzburg School. The analytical method of introspection was created at E. Titchener's school. It is based on the desire to separate the sensory image into separate constituent elements. Phenomenological introspection is one of the directions of Gestalt psychology. This method describes mental phenomena in integrity and immediacy for naive subjects. The phenomenological method was used in the descriptive psychology of V. Dilthey, and later it was used in humanistic psychology.
Psychological method of introspection
Introspection is self-observation, the main goalwhich consists in isolating, through special analysis, immediate experiences from all the connections of the external world. This method is chronologically the first in psychological science. His appearance is due to the Cartesian-Skolokov understanding of the subject of psychology.
The problem of introspection
Introspection in psychology is a method recognizednot only the main thing in the field of studying human consciousness, but also being practically a method that allows analyzing the direct behavior of a person. This belief is due to two indisputable circumstances. First of all, the ability of the processes of consciousness to open up to the subject and, at the same time, their closeness to the outside observer. The minds of different people are separated by an abyss. And no one can go over it and experience the state of consciousness of another person, since it does. It is impossible to penetrate the experiences and images of other people.
It would seem that the conclusions regarding the fact thatintrospection in psychology is the only possible way to analyze the state of consciousness of another person, understand and argue. All reasoning on this issue can be combined in several short sentences: the subject of psychology is based on the facts of consciousness; these facts are revealed directly to the person to whom they belong and no one else; which means that only introspection will help to study and analyze. Self-observation and nothing else.
But on the other hand, the simplicity and clarity of allthese indisputable statements, as well as the whole conclusion in general, seem elementary only at first glance. In fact, they hide one of the most intricate and complex psychological problems - the problem of self-observation.
Advantages of the introspection method
The advantage of using the method of introspectionin psychology is that with its help it is possible to establish a causal relationship of psychic phenomena occurring directly in the mind of a person. In addition, introspection in psychology is the definition of psychological facts that affect the behavior and condition of a person in a pure form, without distortion.
First of all, it is worth noting that thisthe method is not ideal because the sensations and perception of the reality of one person will be different from the sensations of the other. In addition, perception can change even for the same person over time.
Introspection is a method of observation of not himselfprocess, and its fading track. Psychologists say that in self-observation it is not enough to determine just what moment has become transitional. The thought rushes swiftly, and before it can be concluded, it is mutating. In addition, the method of introspection is not applicable to all people, the consciousness of children and the mentally ill can not be studied with its help.
It is problematic to use this method inpsychology is that the content of not all consciousnesses can be decomposed into separate elements and presented as a single whole. In music, if you transfer the melody to a different key, all sounds change, but the melody remains the same. So, it's not the sounds that make the melody, but some special relationship between the sounds. This quality is inherent and integral structures - Gestalt.
Introspection is the presence of a consciousexperience and report about it. Thus Wundt defined the classical application of this method from a psychological point of view. But despite the fact that, according to Wundt, direct experience influences the subject of psychology, he still shared introspection and inner perception. Internal perception is valuable in itself, but it can not be attributed to science. But for introspection, the subject must be trained. Only in this case self-observation will bring the necessary benefit.