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