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Introspection Method in Psychology | Methods of Educational Psychology


Meaning of Introspection Method in Psychology 


The Introspection Method was the method of the structuralists. This method was used by psychologists to study the elements of conscious experience. 

Introspection means self-observation.

In this way it can be said in other words that in the introspection method a person looks within himself and can observe or study his own mood that the introspection method is a method of education psychology in which the teacher or learner makes a systematic study or observation of his/her own mood.

For example, if a learner, after reading a poem, says that the poem is sweet, it would be an example of introspection.


(i) In introspection, one pays attention to an external object (such as a poem in the above example) and perceives it accurately.

(ii) By paying attention to an external object, a particular type of mental state arises in the person.

(iii) The person himself tells about the generated mood after duly studying or observing it. For example, in the above example, a person saying that poetry is creating a feeling of sweetness and sweetness in him.


Methods of Educational Psychology 

Some Merits and Demerits of the Introspection Method 

Merits of Introspection Method


(i) Direct information is obtained about the mental state of children and adults by the method of introspection.

The effect of the school environment in the school and the effect of the strictness or gentleness shown by the teacher on the learners can be directly known from the introspection done by the learners.

Therefore, in the field of education psychology, there can be no other more useful method than this to study the mood of the students in the shortest possible time.

(ii) Introspection method is a simple method which can be used by teachers and students to study their mental state at any point of time.


(iii) The information obtained from the introspection method is more reliable, because in this the teacher and the learner tell their own mood in an unbiased manner.

(iv) Introspection method also has historical importance. Many such researches have been done using the introspection method, which has led to the birth of more objective methods in education psychology. 

Even today the introspection method remains the basis of all kinds of experimental studies.

Demerits of Introspection Method 


(i) In the introspection method, the teacher or the learner himself studies his mental state. 

Critics are of the opinion that the mood of a person is not constant, but keeps on changing from one moment to another. 

In such a condition, to what extent any teacher or learner will be able to observe his mood accurately, it is clear. 

For example, if an angry learner begins to observe his state of anger, his anger itself will disappear and be replaced by another mood.


(ii) In the method of introspection, a person has to observe his mental state as well as conduct it simultaneously. 

In this way the person's attention is divided into two parts - on the one hand he has to observe the mood and on the other hand at the same time the person also keeps his mood directed towards the external object.

The result of this is that the person's observation becomes defective, because it is not possible for him, in the true sense, to concentrate his attention at the same time on the operation of the mind and at the same time on his observation.


(iii) Subjectivity is more in the data collected by introspection method. There is no method to check the reliability of these figures. 

For example, how can others know whether the learner is really happy or unhappy when the learner's answer sheet is evaluated by the teacher? 

Whatever the learner will say, the further process will be done considering it as truth. It is possible that he is unhappy, but says that he is happy. Unclear: The element of subjectivity is quite high in the data collected through introspection method.


(iv) It is not possible to use the introspection method to study the behavior of very young infants, mentally retarded children and abnormal people, because such category of people are unable to study their own mood. remain completely incapable.

(v) Gestalt psychologists have criticized the introspection method saying that since in this method a person analyzes his mental state or conscious experience into several segments, such as sensation, feeling and By dividing it into images etc., the unitary nature of a person's mood cannot be explained by this method and the description of mood in the form of each section is completely different from the description of the mood as a whole. It happens. Hence, this also affects the credibility of this method.


(vi) Interobserver reliability is very low in the introspection method. If the same state of mind is observed by different introspectionists under the same conditions, the findings are different and not uniform. As a result, the result obtained by this method is not more reliable.

Thus, it is clear that the introspection method also includes several demerits. That is why in education psychology this method is used not as an independent method, but as an auxiliary method.