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Introspection is the direct observation or rumination of one's own heart, mind and/or soul and its processes, as opposed to extrospection, the observation of things external to one's self.

Cognitive psychology accepts the use of the scientific method, but rejects introspection as a valid method of investigation. It should be noted that Herbert Simon and Allen Newell identified the 'thinking-aloud' protocol, in which investigators view a subject engaged in introspection, and who speaks his thoughts aloud, thus allowing study of his introspection.

It is related to the term Reflection and used in a similar way by some people.

See also the Introspector (program) project that aims to aid the programmer in Introspection via software.

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Last updated: 06-02-2005 04:36:56
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