Introspection


This is the immediate reflective capacity of the human mind to know its own states. From the Latin introspicere which means “to look inside”, its etymological meaning defines introspection as self-observation or observation towards the same person, that is, of consciousness and one’s own feelings. The human being is the only living being that has the ability to look at himself.

Introspection or internal perception is based on the reflective capacity to which the mind has to refer or be aware of its own states. When this reflective capacity is exercised in the form of memory on past mental states, we have the so-called “retrospective introspection”; but introspection can be a knowledge of the past and also of present experiences, of those that occur jointly and in the present of the introspective act itself.
Introspection shows the ability of a person to abstract from the environment to focus on himself, mark a distance and live better. There is a relationship that is permanent throughout
life. This relationship is the one that arises from being alone with yourself.

Not only is it important to cultivate interpersonal relationships with others, but it is also very important to have the ability to look within oneself to improve self-esteem, have self-confidence, improve the degree of internal understanding, correct defects and improve virtues.

In the branch of psychology, introspection is a method by which the subject describes his conscious experience in terms of the sensory, affective or imaginative. This behavior is carried out in interaction with the therapist, who agrees to observe the subject’s activity experimentally. It is a method strongly rejected and criticized by behavioral psychology.

The philosopher and psychologist Wilhelm Wundt (1832 -1920) was the one who developed experimental psychology in which he analyzed the behaviors that could be observed while states of consciousness approached them through introspection or controlled self-observation.

His method was based on Natural Sciences. We can cite as an example his study of what people felt in the presence of a light stimulus, whose observations took note of both what could be observed (their reaction) and what the subjects told them about what they felt at that moment. This allowed him to distinguish between sensations and feelings. Sigmund Froid was also concerned with analyzing the mind, especially the unconscious, but used free association and dream analysis as methods. Free association can be considered a form of introspection, and consists in that the subject must say what comes to mind without any restriction, guided by the psychoanalyst who interprets these associations to discover what is “stored” in the unconscious.